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Pagasa: Total lunar eclipse visible on April 15

Meteor shower and total lunar eclipse will wow skywatchers this month.

According to Acting Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), a total lunar eclipse will be observed on April 15.

It will be visible in the Philippines as penumbral eclipse or partial illumination during the last stage of the event.

Malano said the eclipse will begin at 12:53 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time or PST) and will end at 6:37 p.m. (PST) on April 15.

In Manila, the moon will rise at 6:12 p.m. on April 15 and will set at 5:26 a.m. on April 16. Therefore, the penumbral eclipse will be observed for about 25 minutes from 6:12 p.m. to 6:37 p.m. this April 15.

The moon will turn red and will appear darker until the middle of the event.

The entire event will be seen from western Africa, western Europe, the Americas, Australasia and eastern Asia.

Malano said the lunar eclipse is safe to watch and observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes. A pair of binocular will help magnify the view and will make the red coloration of the moon brighter.

Meanwhile, the Lyrids meteor shower will be observed on April 21 to April 22.

The Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Chinese records show that “stars fell like rain” during the meteor shower of 687 B.C.

However, in recent times, the Lyrids have generally been weak.

The shower typically generates a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions with a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day.

The shower’s peak this year will be in progress on April 21 to predawn of April 22. Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors, Malano said.