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Star gazers catch glimpse of year's last lunar eclipse

Saturday December 10, 2011 11:38:36 PM, IANS

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Total lunar eclipse Dec 10

Sky gazers are all set to witness a celestial event involving the Moon, the Earth and the Sun as the second total lunar eclipse of the year is scheduled to occur Dec 10, said an official of M.P. Birla Planetarium here Tuesday.  »

New Delhi: Star gazers of the capital pointed their telescopes towards the moon as it turned crimson, marking the beginning of the last and the longest total lunar eclipse of the year Saturday night.

To catch the glimpse of the celestial event, several lunar watches were organised across the city.

The nearly six-hour eclipse started around 5.04 p.m.

SPACE, an NGO for promotion of astronomy amongst school-goers, set up two telescopes for observation and several telephoto cameras for photography at India Gate.

Akshay, an engineering student and volunteer for SPACE, said: "We have several school kids and they are very excited. Even parents want several turns at the telescopes."

Karan, 14, was happy to explain how and why a lunar eclipse takes place.

His mother, accompanying him, said she was observing a fast due to the eclipse. "I am surely not eating food. It's bad to eat food during eclipse," his mother told IANS.

Another watch was organised by the Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium.

According to Dheeraj Kumar from the planetarium, the event was a good draw. "Almost 500 people had gathered," he said.

"The total eclipse can take place only on a full moon night when the earth comes directly between the sun and moon, covering the moon. And blocking the light completely," he said.







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