Lunar eclipses are much more common than solar eclipses, but are still a sight to behold. The first penumbral lunar eclipse of 2020 is about to fall on January 10 i.e., later this week. NASA has coined the term ‘Wolf Moon Eclipse' for this celestial event, and it will be visible in India this time. In fact, countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe will be able to see the lunar eclipse, and the total duration is set to be 4 hours and 5 minutes. This is the first of the four penumbral lunar eclipses (called chandra grahan in Hindi) that are set to occur this year.
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
A penumbral eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun. It obscures the Sun's light for a specific amount of time, causing the Earth's shadow to fall on the Moon. Unlike other eclipses, the penumbral eclipse is a very subtle celestial event to observe, though it is interesting to see the larger than usual appearance of the Moon, and the shifts in shadow during the 4 hour period. When the eclipse is at its peak, the Moon's outer disc will fall under the Earth's shadow, but not completely. At maximum eclipse, 90 percent of the Moon will be partially shaded by the Earth. The Moon will appear dim, and won't be as bright as on other days. As mentioned, there will be three more penumbral lunar eclipse this year – June 5, July 5, and November 30.
January 2020 lunar eclipse date and timings?As mentioned, the penumbral lunar eclipse of January 2020 will occur on January 10 i.e. this Friday. According to Time and Date, the lunar eclipse India time will last from 10:37pm IST on January 10 to 2:42am IST on January 11.
Where to watch the penumbral lunar eclipse on January 10, 2020?
As mentioned, the eclipse will be visible in India, and countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe will be able to see the lunar eclipse as well. Unfortunately, the penumbral lunar eclipse won't be visible in the US, as it will be daylight in that part of the region. CosmoSapiens will be live streaming the penumbral lunar eclipse celestial event, and you can watch it in the embedded video below.
What are the precautions one should take while watching the penumbral lunar eclipse?
While looking at solar eclipses, special glasses are usually recommended by experts. But in the case of a lunar eclipse, it is safe to look at it with the naked eye.