Taiwan to see partial lunar and solar eclipses in 2019

A lunar eclipse is set for July, solar eclipse in December

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Partial solar eclipse seen from the U.S. (Flickr/NASA)

Partial solar eclipse seen from the U.S. (Flickr/NASA)

TAIPEI (CNA) —The two most exciting celestial events in Taiwan this year will be a partial lunar eclipse in July and a partial solar eclipse in December, according to the Taipei Astronomical Museum.

The partial lunar eclipse is expected to take place between 4:01 a.m. and 5:16 a.m. on July 17, when the moon reaches its closest to the center of earth's umbra -- the innermost and darkest part of a shadow.

At the peak of the eclipse, the moon, which will remain in a full round shape, will appear copper around two-thirds of its surface, while the remainder will appear as bright as usual, said museum researcher Chang Kuei-lan (張桂蘭).

Weather permitting, the phenomenon will be visible to the naked eye across the island, she said.

Toward the end of the year, Taiwan will see a partial solar eclipse on Dec. 26, but the significance and duration of the episode will depend on the location of the island, Chang said.

In Taipei, for instance, the celestial event will occur between 12:44 p.m. and 3:32 p.m., during which time as many as 33 percent of the sun will be obscured by the moon as seen from earth.

The astronomical phenomenon, described in ancient China as "sky dog swallowing the sun," will bring a dark breach of the sun and be visible to the naked eye, she said.