Thailand to experience total lunar eclipse during Loy Krathong Festival

Thailand’s annual Loy Krathong Festival will be even more magical than usual this year as a total lunar eclipse will grace the sky on the same day, making the moon appear brick red, according to the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT).

The total lunar eclipse will take place on the same day as Loy Krathong Festival on November 8, when the southern limb of the Moon passes through the centre of the Earth’s shadow. The eclipse can be observed with the naked eye throughout eastern Asia and North America.

In Thailand, the Earth’s shadow will start falling on the moon at 3.02pm and will leave the Moon at 8.56pm. Thailand’s Moon will be eclipsed for almost an hour between 5.44pm – 6.41pm, said NARIT.

At 7.49pm, the moon will shift into a partial eclipse and then a penumbral eclipse, which is when the Earth’s outer shadow falls over the Moon’s face. The eclipse will be completely over at 8.56pm.

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NARIT explained that a lunar eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align in orbit, with the Earth in the middle. The moon appears a different colour as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.

The eclipse will happen just six days before ‘Apogee’ on November 14, another significant lunar event, when the Moon’s diameter will appear smaller.

The last total lunar eclipse happened on October 28, 2004, and the next won’t take place until March 14, 2025.

If skies are clear on November 8, just look at the moon in the evening to experience the eclipse.

Alternatively, the eclipse can be viewed in more detail for free at the following observatories from 6-10pm on November 8…

  • Sirindhorn Astronomical Park, Chiang Mai
  • Regional Observatory for the Public, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao
  • Regional Observatory for the Public, Songkhla

Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated nationwide, but tourism officials are planning official celebrations in six provinces this year, including Bangkok, Sukhothai, Tak, Chiang Mai, Roi Et and Samut Songkhram.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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