(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The first lunar eclipse of the year 2021 will be visible to many parts of the world on May 26th Vesak Full Moon day as a total lunar eclipse from 02:17:39 p.m. and last till 07:19:44 p.m. on Sri Lanka Standard time when the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon, said Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, the Director of Astronomy and Space Science Unit, Department of Physics, Colombo University.
This is the first total lunar eclipse after 2019 and is famously known as the Super Flower Blood Moon. While the eclipse is visible as a total eclipse to regions like Australia, parts of the western US, western South America, and in South-East Asia, to Sri Lanka it will be visible as a penumbral lunar eclipse. The true maximum point of this eclipse cannot be seen in Sri Lanka because the Moon is below the horizon at that time.
The Moon will rise from the eastern horizon at 6:23 p.m. on 26th May 2021 and from that time onwards till the end of the eclipse due at 7:20 p.m. Sri Lankans can see the Moon, when it is in the less dark shadow of the Earth (penumbra) as a penumbral lunar eclipse with a little dimming of the Moon’s brightens.
Since the Moon is near the horizon at this time, it is better to select a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to East-southeast for the best view of the eclipse, said Prof. Chandana Jayaratne.
A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Accordingly, there will be a ring of fire annular solar eclipse due on 10th June 2021 when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth. But this eclipse will not be visible to Sri Lanka.