New Delhi, July 24: Monsoon weather over India may block view of the century's longest celestial event- total lunar eclipse on Friday night. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the monsoon will continue to be active from June 19 to August 1, with above normal rainfall in northern parts of India in the week starting July 26 (Thursday).
IMD weather bulletin predicted heavy rain at isolated places likely over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, West Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Scientists say that people keen on watching the eclipse should take note of the weather forecasts. "Those who miss it in India because of overcast skies could still watch it online," Niruj-Mohan Ramanujam, astronomer and public outreach officer with the Astronomical Society of India told the Telegraph.
The eclipse will start at 11.54pm on Friday and last till 3.47am on Saturday. The totality phase, when the Earth's shadow completely covers the Moon, will last from 1am to 2.43am.
The eclipse will be visible from many parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America, and is likely to be webcast live from some of these sights, Ramanujam said.