The first lunar eclipse of 2018 will be observed on 31 st January. Where East Coast of the United States will only be able to see its partial phase, its full phase can be seen in large parts of US, Russia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, northeastern Europe, and Australia. This rare ‘super blood blue moon’ hasn’t been seen in the last 36 years and will have unusual lunar events, which is an extra big super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse. This is a rare trifecta of lunar events. In India, it will also be seen on the same date. Though lunar eclipse is not a rare phenomenon but as it will be a blue moon, it is rarely observed. It was on December 30, 1982 that this cosmic event was seen.
North-Eastern part of India will be the first to witness lunar eclipse, between 4:21 PM and 5:18 PM IST. Rest of the country can see this Super blue blood moon between 5:18 pm IST and 6:21 pm IST. People in western coast and a few parts of Rajasthan will be able to see it between 6:21 PM IST to 7:37 PM IST.
What is Blue moon?
The second full moon in a month refers to a blue moon. On this day, moon comes 90 per cent closer to earth. It appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger. Thus, it is also referred to as a ‘super moon’. As it comes under the earth’s shadow during that time, it also wears a tinge of red colour. Scientists say that “the red light you see is sunlight that has skimmed and bent through Earth’s atmosphere and continued on through space to the moon.”
Health tips for pregnant women
There are various pervasive superstitions about lunar eclipse which instruct a cautionary take on eclipse, especially when it is about pregnant women. Some of the common beliefs include:
- Not to come out, eat or cook during eclipse. All these can develop deformities in the baby.
- Take bath only once the eclipse is over.
- Avoid any household work during the eclipse and take rest.
- Avoid using sharp objects like knife and scissor as it can cause cleft lip or birthmark on the baby.
Different cultures have different takes on this. According to Indian culture, lunar eclipse is considered as a bad omen which can be harmful for pregnant women, while many cultures don’t agree with such a philosophy.
There are people who still believe that during lunar eclipse, they might develop heart related diseases, breathing trouble, insomnia, stress, cough and cold, fear and mood swings. Hence, they avoid going outside. It is also believed that exposure to lunar eclipse might also lead to mental imbalance and lunacy.
Another belief is that lunar eclipse does effect on the hormones, especially a woman’s monthly cycle and fertility.
However, it must be noted that there is no scientific backing to these claims. Recently, we also did a story on eclipse’s impact on pregnant women. You can see it here. Is eclipse REALLY bad for pregnant women? Or is it just hearsay? If you still want to take precautions and follow these tips, you must as it is only a matter of a few hours for the eclipse to last.