Clear view of partial lunar eclipse expected next week, Hong Kong Observatory says

Astronomical event will start at 11.48pm on Monday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 9:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 9:32am

Moon gazers in Hong Kong should be able to get a clear look at the partial lunar eclipse next Monday despite rising temperatures and high air pollution readings.

The rare astronomical event will begin at 11.48pm on the night of August 7, with the maximum eclipse – when 25 per cent of the moon’s diameter will be covered – occurring at 2.21am, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

The event will end at 4.53am, leaving a wide viewing window for enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

As the elevation of the moon will be rather high during the eclipse, the Observatory said, most places with an unobstructed view of the horizon to the south and southwest will be suitable viewing locations if the weather permits.

Clear skies and high temperatures are currently expected for August 7.

“The forecast on Monday is generally better as compared to the other days, and there is a high chance of getting a clear view,” an Observatory scientific officer commented.

“While there may be some showers on Tuesday, it is hard to say if they will impair the viewing of the partial eclipse. It is better to closely follow the weather forecast updates leading up to the event.”

The last lunar eclipse seen in Hong Kong happened earlier this year, during the Spring Lantern Festival on February 11.

Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth blocks the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types – total, partial and penumbral – with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which the Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.

A minimum of at least two lunar eclipses take place in a calendar year.

The next observable lunar eclipse is expected to occur on 31 January, 2018, and is said to be a total eclipse.