Lunar Eclipse March 14th, Solar Eclipse March 29th
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted March 3, 2006]

Two Eclipses this March

Das Chan

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There are two eclipses this March, 2006: a total penumbral lunar eclipse on Tuesday, March 14th, followed close on its heels by a total solar eclipse on Wednesday, March 29th.

In this age, eclipses generally elicit public excitement, and people the world over go out to look up into the skies to catch a glimpse of the astronomical events, but generally are unaware that there is any connection with events on this planet. The Vedas, however, give information that eclipses portend misfortune or calamity—both natural and man-made—specifically for those regions where the eclipse is fully visible and which are ruled by the particular zodiac signs indicated by the eclipses.
For instance, in his article "News Alert - March Forecast", Patita Pavana das Adhikary asserts that the upcoming eclipses have everything to do with the recent Egyptian ferry disaster.

Total Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
This March 14th, the lunar eclipse coincides with Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who slightly more than 500 years ago descended into this world on the occasion of another lunar eclipse, when all India was roaring with the sound vibration of the holy names: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It was customary at such times for all the people to gather at the holy places of pilgrimage, bathe in the holy rivers and chant the names of God, thus invoking the all-auspicious mercy of the Supreme Lord. That the Lord chose to appear at that time was a prophetic sign that He had come to introduce Harinama Sankirtan, or the chanting of the holy names of Krishna, the remedy said to be the only method of sacrifice or worship recommended for this present Age known as Kali-yuga, or the Age of Quarrel. This year, not just in India, but all around the world, wherever devotees of Krishna gather to celebrate the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu this March 14th, they will be chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The devotees welcome the eclipse—ordinarily regarded by astrologers and Vedicans as inauspicious—as an opportunity to remember the circumstances of Lord Chaitanya's all-auspicious advent and simultaneously the incarnation of the Harinam Sankirtan, the congregational chanting of God's names, and invite everyone in the world—man, woman, child—to also chant the holy names of God on this very special occasion.

The Nasa website reports:

The first lunar eclipse of 2006 is a deep penumbral event best visible from Europe and Africa. First and last penumbral contacts occur at 21:22 UT and 02:14 UT (Mar 15), respectively. The Moon's path through Earth's penumbra as well as a map showing worldwide visibility of the event is shown in Figure 1 [see below]. Observers throughout most of North America will find the eclipse already in progress as the Moon rises on the evening of March 14. However, no eclipse will be visible from westernmost North America (Yukon, British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California) since the event ends there before moonrise. This particular event is unusual since it is a total penumbral eclipse. The whole Moon will lie completely within the penumbral shadow from 23:18 UT to 00:18 UT (Mar 15). According to Belgian eclipse expert Jean Meeus [1997] this is one of only five such events during the 21st century. Greatest eclipse occurs at 23:48 UT with a penumbral magnitude of 1.0565. At that instant, the Moon will stand midway in the penumbral shadow....
March 14, 2006
Total Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

First contact: 21:22 UT

At that time it will be:
13:22 San Francisco (-8, PST)
16:22 New York (EST)
00:22 Moscow (Mar 15)
02:52 New Delhi (+5.5) (Mar 15)
05:22 Hong Kong (+8) (Mar 15)

Total Penumbral Eclipse:
23:18 - 00:18 UT (Mar 15)

At that time it will be:
15:18 - 16:18 San Francisco (-8, PST)
18:18 - 19:18 New York (EST)
02:18 - 03:18 Moscow (Mar 15)
04:48 - 05:48 New Delhi (+5.5) (Mar 15)
07:18 - 08:18 Hong Kong (+8) (Mar 15)

Greatest Eclipse: 23:48 UT

At that time it will be:
15:48 San Francisco (-8, PST)
18:48 New York (EST)
02:48 Moscow (Mar 15)
05:18 New Delhi (+5.5) (Mar 15)
07:48 Hong Kong (+8) (Mar 15)
path of lunar eclipse, March 14, 2006
Lunar eclipse, March 14, 2006 (Click on image to magnify view)

A look at the map above reveals that the point of greatest eclipse occurs directly over Nigeria. Those countries lying in the region where the eclipse is fully visible are East Brazil, Greenland, Iceland, all Africa, Ireland, UK, Scotland, West and East Europe, West Russia and West Kazakhstan (bordering along the Ural Mountains), the Aral Sea, Turkmenistad, Uzbekistan, Iran, Central Asia, and down to the Saudi peninsula. Practically all the nations of the world will see some part of the eclipse, catching a glimpse just at moonrise, or full view, or a trace of it at moonset. The only locations falling outside the path of the eclipse are the westernmost coastal areas of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Micronesia, Polynesia, Japan (except Shikoku and Kyushu), New Guinea, Australia (except Western Australia).

Total Solar Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse

Beginning to End:  08:36 - 11:48 UT
(3 hrs 12 min)

At that time it will be:
00:36 - 03:48 San Francisco (-8, PST)
03:36 - 06:48 New York (EST)
05:36 - 08:48 Rio de Janeiro
12:36  - 15:48 Moscow
14:06 - 17:18 New Delhi (+5.5)
16:36 - 19:48 Hong Kong (+8)

Greatest Eclipse: 10:11:18 UT
(Duration 4 min 7 sec)

At that time it will be:
02:11:18 San Francisco (-8, PST)
05:11:18 New York (EST)
07:11:18 Rio de Janeiro
14:11:18 Moscow
15:41:18 New Delhi (+5.5)
18:11:18 Hong Kong (+8)
The solar eclipse on March 29th this year traverses a path extending across half the Earth, and importantly, again over the continents of Africa and central Asia, with the point of greatest eclipse occuring over the border between Chad and Libya. The path length is approximately 14,500 kilometres, covering some .41% of the Earth's surface area. In Turkey the path of totality intersects the path of the August 11, 1999 total solar eclipse. Touchdown begins at 8:36 UT in Brazil, travelling across the Atlantic to the Ghana coast (9:08 UT), moving across Nigeria, northeasterly. The point of greatest eclipse occurs directly over the border between Libya and Chad at 10:11:18 UT for a duration of 4 minutes 7 seconds. The path travels between Crete and Cyprus, reaching Turkey's southern coast at 10:54 UT and the Black Sea at 11:10 UT. Crossing the Black Sea over to Georgia and moving across the Caucusus Mountains, the shadow enters Russia and falls over the north end of the Caspian Sea, from where it proceeds to Kazakhstan (11:30 UT). Again briefly enters Russia, and then ends in sunset along the northern border of Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be visible from the northern two thirds of Africa, all of Europe and central Asia.

Go to Nasa's website for further information and exact times in your locality. Click on the images below to view magnified image.

path of solar eclipse across Africa, March 29 2006path of solar eclipse, March 29 2006
Path of solar eclipse, March 29, 2006 (Click on each image to magnify view)

Two Eclipses this March/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2004-Hansadutta das
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