The first lunar eclipse of the year will occur at dawn tomorrow, Qatar Calendar House (QCH) has said, and people in Qatar will have the opportunity to witness the penumbral phase only.
The celestial phenomenon assumes significance as this will be the last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021.
The moon will be at the nearest point in its orbit around the earth (perigee), and the distance to the moon will be 357,715km from the earth’s centre, according to a statement from QCH.
The moon will appear larger and brighter than a normal full moon, QCH astronomy expert Dr Beshir Marzouk has explained.
The phenomenon is being touted as the last “blood moon” eclipse of the decade.
The total phase of the eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Europe and western Africa, according to timeanddate.com. Central and eastern Africa and Asia – including the Middle East region – will see a partial eclipse of the moon.
In Qatar, the penumbral phase will be visible, Dr Marzouk notes.
The eclipse will start at dawn tomorrow, with the penumbral phase beginning in the Qatar sky at 5.37am.
The partial phase will start at 6.35am and and total phase at 7.43am. The total eclipse will peak at 8.13am, and this phase will end at 8.44am. The partial phase will then end at 9.51am and the penumbral phase at 10.48am, according to QCH.
The last total eclipse of the moon occurred on July 27, 2018, and was visible across Africa and parts of Asia.
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