The first lunar eclipse of 2020 will take place on January 10 and will be visible from India. This is the first of the four penumbral lunar eclipses of the year.
The lunar eclipse is expected to start around 10.30 pm and continue till to 2.30 am Indian Standard Time (IST) and during the time 90 per cent of the moon will be partially covered.
Only the outer part of the shadow appearing of the moon will be visible.
Lunar eclipses occur when Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon.
There are three types- total, partial and penumbral- with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.
January 10’s lunar eclipse is a penumbral lunar eclipse and this occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned.
When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.
Since the penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth’s shadow, the umbra, a penumbral eclipse of the Moon is often difficult to tell apart from a normal Full Moon.