People residing in Odisha and almost the entire Indian subcontinent will get a chance to witness another celestial phenomenon when a partial lunar eclipse, the first visible eclipse this year happens tonight. Earlier in February 10, a penumbral lunar eclipse had occurred but was not visible. Entire Asia, Australia along with most parts of Europe and Africa will also be able to witness the second and the last lunar eclipse this year with the next total lunar eclipse occurring in January 2018. The penumbral part of the lunar eclipse will begin at 9:20.01pm when the penumbral part of Earth’s shadow starts moving over the Moon. This phase is not easily seen by the naked eye. The partial phase will start at 10:52.56pm during which the Earth’s umbra starts covering the Moon, making the eclipse more visible. The eclipse will be at its highest at 11.50.29pm and the partial eclipse ends at 00 00:48.09am when Earth’s umbra completely leaves the Moon’s surface while the penumbral eclipse ends at 2:20.56am on August 8. Since the moon will be above the horizon during the phenomenon, with clear sky, the entire episode of 1.55 hour can be visualised with naked eye.  About 25 percent of the moon surface will be eclipsed by earth’s shadow. People will be able to witness the eclipse on naked eye if the weather conditions are good, Subendhu Patnaik, Pathani Samanta Planetarium Deputy Director said. On the other hand as part of the customs, people have been advised to stop consuming food after 1.52 pm. Since today is the last Monday of the ongoing Shravan month, devotees will mark the end of holy month and visit Shiva temples. Similarly, since the day also celebrates Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan and birthday of Lord Balabhadra, accordingly religious rituals have also been scheduled. “We think Lord Sudarshan’s ‘Bije’ will tentatively be completed by 10 am since ‘Paka Nisedh’ has been fixed from 1.52 pm,” Puri Jagannath temple administrator (Ritual) Pradip Das said. After the eclipse ends, Lord Lingaraj and the temple will be cleansed with a grand bath or ‘Shuddhikaran’. Thereafter kindling of ceremonial fire in the Kitchen for cooking, known as Rosa Homa will be done and ‘Badasringar Besha’ of the Lord will be carried out, Rajkishore Mohapatra, Lingaraj Temple Supervisor said. Later this month, a spectacular total solar eclipse is also set to occur which will be visible most prominently in the North Americas. The Odisha TV News : 7th. Aug,17


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