Today's penumbral lunar eclipse will cover a small part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.
A penumbral lunar eclipse of the year will take place on Friday and Astronomy enthusiasts and sky gazers will be visible from all corners of India if the weather does not play a spoilsport. This is the first of the four penumbral lunar eclipses that will take place this year.
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In a normal lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the central part of the earth's shadow called umbra, forming considerable darkening of the lunar disc. But today's penumbral lunar eclipse will cover a small part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra, according to Debiprosad Duari, director of M P Birla Planetarium.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon align in an almost straight line. The earth blocks some of the sun's light from directly reaching the moon's surface, and
The eclipse will begin at 10.37 PM Indian Standard Time and will last till 2.42 AM on January 11.
"To a naked eye it is sometimes a little difficult to recognise a penumbral lunar eclipse, though it is interesting to see the larger than usual appearance of the moon, and the shifts in shadow during the 4-hour period," the renowned astrophysicist said.
The penumbral lunar eclipse will also be visible from different countries in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe, he said.
Around six eclipses will take place in 2020, with three of them are expected to be visible in India. While four of these eclipses will be lunar, the remaining two are going to be solar, Ujjain-based Jiwaji Observatory's Superintendent Rajendraprakash Gupt said.
The lunar eclipse on Friday will be the first of four penumbral lunar eclipses that will take place this year. The other three penumbral lunar eclipses will occur on June 5, July 5 and November 30.
Penumbral lunar eclipses will also take place on July 5 and November 30, both of which will not be visible in the country as the celestial events will take place before the sunset, he said.
An annular solar eclipse will take place on June 21 and will be seen in India, he said.
In 2019, three solar and two lunar eclipses were seen in different parts of the world.
First Published: IST