Lunar Eclipse 2020: Timings in India & 3 important facts

Lunar Eclipse 2020

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After the Solar Eclipse witnessed recently, it is time for witnessing the Lunar Eclipse. Here are three important facts that you need to know about the first Lunar eclipse of 2020.

What is a Lunar eclipse?

In this, the moon is behind the Earth. The condition required for this is that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned and it is a full moon night. This is unlike the Solar Eclipse for which the Sun, Moon, and Earth have to be aligned.

The Earth is in between the Sun and Moon, blocking the moon completely from receiving the sunlight. The light that is reflected by the natural satellites is what is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere.

The moon takes 29 and a half days to go around the Earth and we have a full moon every month, but we don’t have a lunar eclipse every month. This is because the orbit of the moon is tilted in relation to Earth and the Sun, Earth, and Moon don’t always align. When the Earth comes in between the Sun and Moon, it casts two types of shadows- the penumbra (which is larger) and umbra (smaller and darker).

There are three types of a lunar eclipse-

1. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

This takes place when the Moon passes through Earth’s penumbral shadow. It is a subtle event that is a little difficult to observe.

2. Partial Lunar Eclipse

This happens when the Sun, Moon, and earth do not perfectly align. A part of the moon is in umbral and the other in the penumbra region.

3. Total Lunar Eclipse

The Moon is entirely in the umbral region. They are the most striking and beautiful as the Moon can be seen in red color. This happens because the red light is refracted towards the moon and the blue light is scattered outward.

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How is it different from Solar Eclipse?

Other than the placement of the celestial bodies, the Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse also differ in regard to the following-

1. Lunar eclipse can be seen from anywhere on the Earth that is facing the night side. The Solar Eclipse can be seen only from specific places.

2. It is safe to see the lunar eclipse from naked eyes, unlike the Solar Eclipse.

Which eclipse is it today?

It is a penumbral lunar eclipse.

When and where can it be seen?

Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Much of North America, East in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic. In India, the eclipse will begin at 10.37 p.m. today and end around 2.42 a.m. on January 11.

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