Skygazers wait for celestial events like solar and lunar eclipse each year. Depending on the position of Earth, we witness different kinds of solar and lunar eclipse in a year. The maximum number of eclipses that can happen in a single year is eight which includes up to five solar eclipses and three lunar eclipses.
There are two solar eclipses in 2020. The first one has already happened on June 21. The next one will take place on December 14. The next solar eclipse will be a total solar eclipse, during which the Moon will completely block off the Sun’s rays and cast a shadow over the Earth. According to timeanddate.com, the next solar eclipse will be visible from South America, Pacific, Atlantic, and parts of the Indian Ocean, Antarctica, and Africa.
The first two lunar eclipses in 2020 were penumbral lunar eclipses. The first one happened on January 10 whereas the second one took place on June 5 to 6. The next lunar eclipse will also be a penumbral one. It will be visible in India on November 30.
What is a solar eclipse?
When the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are aligned in a straight line or an almost straight configuration, such that the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth blocking the rays of the Sun from directly reaching the Earth, we witness a solar eclipse. It is advised not to watch a solar eclipse with naked eyes as it can cause damage.
What is a lunar eclipse?
During the Full Moon, when the Moon, the Erath, and the Sun are in a straight line and the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, the lunar eclipse takes place. The Earth ends up blocking the Sun’s rays from directly reaching the Moon and casts a shadow on the Moon. Based on the alignment of the three celestial bodies, there are three kinds of lunar eclipses– a total lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse, and penumbral lunar eclipse.
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned and the Earth casts a faint shadow over the Moon. The outer part of Earth’s shadow, also known as the penumbra, blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon. A penumbral eclipse is hard to distinguish from the normal Full Moon as the penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth’s shadow.
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