Kalinga TV News Network
By- Md. Mojahid Raza
The second ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipse of 2018 will take place today. During the eclipse, said to be the longest of the decade, the moon will remain completely obscured for 103 minutes (1 hour 43 minutes) – the longest totality of the 21st century.
To evade the ill-effects of the lunar eclipse, special rituals will be conducted at the Jagannath temple in Puri. The eclipse has also led to a change in the ritual timings of Srimandir with the gates opening at 5am, followed by a ‘Mangal Aarti’ at 5:40am. Other important rituals like Mailama, Tadapalagi and Abakasha Niti, Gopalaballav Niti will be done around 9am in the morning, in view of the eclipse.
Similarly, the ‘Mahaprasad’ will be distributed from the Bhog Mandapa after the rituals are completed in the noon. All the rituals in the temple will be completed by 2:45pm in the afternoon.
After the lunar eclipse commences, a special bhog will be offered to the holy deities around 11:53pm which will be followed by a ‘Sandhya Alati’.
The priests at the temple will also conduct a special ritual called ‘Debaniti’ which would start at 11:54 pm and end at 3:49 am on Saturday morning. They will also conduct purification rituals at the temple after the lunar eclipse ends.
Scientists have termed this phenomenon as a ‘Blood Moon lunar eclipse’ where the moon take a reddish hue. This happens because direct sunlight to moon is blocked by the Earth, making the moon go dark. When this happens, the moon only reflects the sunlight scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere. Because the red wavelengths are scattered less than the blue and violet wavelengths, the sunlight’s red wavelength scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere hits the moon, making it appear red from our perspective.
The eclipse is estimated to start in India at 11:44pm IST on Friday night and the total lunar eclipse 2018 is expected to begin at 1am IST. From 1:15am to 2:43am, the moon will be in the middle of the Earth’s shadow and will appear reddish in colour. The eclipse will continue till 4:58am though the effect will not look as great.
This lunar eclipse will be the longest one till June 9, 2123.