KOLKATA: Skygazers and astronomy enthusiasts have an opportunity to experience another celestial phenomenon on Monday when a partial lunar eclipse starts at 10.52pm. This will be the first eclipse to be visible this year. Though another eclipse happened on February 11, most could not view it because it was penumbral, in which the moon did not pass through the direct shadow of the earth but through its periphery.
Monday's partial lunar eclipse will be visible from entire Asia and Australia and most parts of Europe and Africa.
The next lunar eclipse will be on January 31, 2018, and it will be total. It will also be visible from all parts of the Indian sub-continent.
Lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye. No special filters are required like those used for solar eclipses. No telescope is required to watch the eclipse, although a good pair of binoculars enhances the experience. Only weather can play spoilsport. "We hope the sky is not overcast and the moon shines bright," said Debiprosad Duari, director (research & academic), MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, MP Birla Planetarium.