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Lunar eclipse 2020: Time, duration and visibility from India

Out of the four lunar eclipses that the Earth has seen and will be seeing in the year 2020, the penumbral lunar eclipse on July 5 is the third one. From a total of six eclipses in 2020, 4 lunar and 2 solar, we have already witnessed 3. The fourth eclipse of the year will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, same as the rest of the lunar eclipse this year. During this eclipse, 30% of the moon’s disk will be under the shadow of the Earth. The changes, however, are minimal and cannot be observed with the naked eye.

A lunar eclipse is the result of the Sun, Earth and Moon aligning perfectly, in the order where the Earth is in between the Sun and Moon. As the Earth casts its shadow on the moon, we experience a lunar eclipse. A penumbral eclipse occurs when the shadow cast on the Moon is from the penumbral region of the Earth, that is the outer rims of the Earth which are less dense as compared to the umbral (innermost) regions. During a Penumbral eclipse, only some of the light source is blocked by the Earth, resulting in a partial lunar eclipse.

Time, Place and Visibility

The celestial event will take place between the hours of 8:37 am and 11:22 am IST. However, considering it will be daylight in India and the Moon will be below the horizon during this time, the eclipse will not be visible from here. Clear skies withstanding, people in the Americas, South and West Europe, and the western region of Africa will be able to view the eclipse between 3:07 am and 5:52 am UTC.

It is also interesting to note that a lunar eclipse never occurs alone, a solar eclipse happens two weeks before or after the lunar eclipse and vice versa. Usually there are two eclipses in a row, but this summer season has seen three in a row. The first being a lunar eclipse on June 5, followed by the annular solar eclipse on June 21.

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