Updated: December 28, 2009 20:45 IST

'Blue Moon’ eclipse on December 31

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A file picture of B.G. Sidharth, Director of B.M. Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad, Photo: V. Raju.
The Hindu A file picture of B.G. Sidharth, Director of B.M. Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad, Photo: V. Raju.

Year 2009 is once in a “Blue Moon” with December having an extra full moon on the last day of the month.

The second full moon day of the month also the last day of the year, will also have a partial eclipse of the moon which will be visible from all over the country.

This phenomenon, when two full moons take place within the same month, is not common and when it does happen, the second full moon of the month is called “Blue Moon”, B.G. Sidharth, Director, B.M. Birla Science Centre, said in a release here today.

The partial eclipse, technically, begins at 22 hours 45 minutes (IST), but for practical purposes the darkening begins 22 minutes after midnight, he said.

The maximum of the eclipse is reached at 53 minutes past midnight. Even at this time, only a small portion of the moon would appear darkened, Dr. Sidharth said adding that the eclipse then decreases and is over at 24 minutes past 1 ‘o’ clock of January, 1.

However, the moon continues to be in the region of partial shadow, which is not a significant sight, till 3 a.m. on January 1. There are no precautions to be taken for viewing this eclipse. Similarly, the belief that one should not move out or eat food during an eclipse has no scientific bases, he said in the release.

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