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A Once in a Lifetime ‘Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse’ Will Arrive Tonight

A rare total lunar eclipse will occur early today evening in India on January 31. It’s been given a variety of names, including “blue blood supermoon eclipse” and “super blue blood moon.” and this eclipse has earned all of them. That’s because the circumstances of this total lunar eclipse are extraordinarily rare.

January’s lunar eclipse will land on the night of a supermoon, making it about as large and bright as a lunar eclipse can be. (At least, when seen with the naked eye.) It is also the third in a line of three consecutive supermoons. The last Blue Moon occurred in July 2015 and in 2018, we’ll experience two of them, a phenomena that won’t happen for another 19 years. The second Blue Moon is slated to occur in late March.

What is Blood Moon?

The Blood Moon occurs because the Earth is passing between the Moon and the Sun, which gives the Moon a reddish tint to it. It’s caused by light bending around the Earth because of gravity passing around a portion of the atmosphere, more commonly known as a lunar eclipse.

A Blue Moon combined with a Supermoon (when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth and appears to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal) the rare phenomena is called a Super Blue Blood Moon happens. Supermoons generally only occur once every 14 months and will not happen again until January 2019. The last time all of these events occurred simultaneously in the Western hemisphere was 1866.

What happens during the Lunar Eclipse?

During the lunar eclipse the Earth comes exactly in between the Sun and the Moon or to put it differently, the earth’s shadow will fall on the Moon. If the three are almost exactly on the same line, we have a total lunar eclipse, according to a press release by the B.M. Birla Science Centre. Even during a total lunar eclipse some of the sun’s rays get refracted through the earth’s atmosphere and strike the Moon which thereby takes on a low brown red glow which is what will happen on the 31 st . So some people call this the Blood Moon, says Dr. B.G. Sidharth, renowned physicist and Director of the Centre.

Additionally there are two other coincidental features. This is the second Full Moon in the month and that is often called a Blue Moon, in a manner of speaking though, essentially, it has nothing to do with the colour blue, he said. Furthermore, the positions and distances of the Moon and the earth relative to the Sun on this occasion are such that the Moon would appear slightly bigger about 10% or more and so a little brighter on this day. Such a phenomenon is called a Super Moon. What this means in practice is there may be slightly higher tides in rivers and seas that day but nothing very alarming.

Lunar Eclipse in India

The total lunar eclipse which can be seen from everywhere in India begins at 5.20 in the evening with what is called the partial shadow or penumbra of the earth’s shadow striking the Moon. This is not a significant sight. The main eclipse will start around 6.25 p.m. after sun set. This can be seen in the Eastern sky as the Moon would have just risen by then. A slight sliver of the Moon first gets covered in what is called the Umbra, the total shadow and slowly this spreads for several minutes and after that it will recede and in an hour’s time, that is around 7.25 p.m. the main part of the eclipse would be over.

Religious Beliefs of Lunar Eclipse

The lunar eclipse which is also referred to as Chandra Grahan, holds religious significance for many Indians who follow rituals as per the Hindu calendar. There are some superstitious beliefs that during a total lunar eclipse the digestion gets affected as some of the moon’s rays are blocked and so one must not eat anything for the entire length of the eclipse.

The Hindus believe that the cycles of the moon have an impact on the human body. Renowned spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has shared his insights on his blog regarding this. “The cycles of the moon have an impact on the human system, physically, psychologically and energy wise. During lunar eclipses, what would happen in 28 days over a full lunar cycle happens subtly over a course of two to three hours…in terms of energy, the earth’s energy mistakes this eclipse as a full cycle of the moon. Certain things happen in the planet where anything that has moved away from its natural condition will deteriorate very fast. That is why there is a change in the way cooked food is before and after the eclipse. What was nourishing food turns into poison, it is better to keep the stomach empty at this time,” Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has written on his blog.

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