After India witnessed the much talked about last solar eclipse of the decade in December, the country will also witness the first lunar eclipse of the decade.
The lunar eclipse, also referred to as the 'Wolf Moon Eclipse' by the NASA, will occur during the intervening night of January 10 and 11.
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon form a straight line, causing the planet to block the sunlight from reaching the Moon.
First lunar eclipse of 2020 is a penumbral one
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth doesn't directly block the Moon from sunlight. Instead, the Moon is completely or partially covered by the outer shadow of the planet.
Places to catch the 2020 lunar eclipse
According to timeanddate.com, people living in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, east part of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Arctic will be able to catch at least some portion of the eclipse.
What are the lunar eclipse timings in India?
The eclipse will start in India at 10:37 pm on January 10 and end at 2:42 am on January 11. Apart from that, the maximum eclipse will be visible at 12:40 pm on January 11. The eclipse is expected to last for four to five hours.
Why is it called the Wolf Moon eclipse?
The term Wolf Moon has been attributed to the first of the 12 full moons in a year. Each full moon has a unique name and the name of January's full moon is after the traditions of Native American tribes, according to NASA's Gordon Johnston. Talking to the United Kingdom's Daily Express, Johnston explained that American tribe Algonquin named the first full moon of the winter Wolf Moon, after the pack of wolves that howled hungrily outside the village during the winter snows due to lack of food.
All lunar eclipses in 2020
This eclipse will be the first of the four penumbral lunar eclipses in the year. According to dateandtime.com, the other three lunar eclipses will occur on June 5, July 4 and November 29.
Which lunar eclipses in 2020 will India witness?
While India will also witness the lunar eclipse in June, the July eclipse will not be visible anywhere in India. Meanwhile, some northern and eastern parts of India are likely to witness the November lunar eclipse.
Difference between a lunar and a solar eclipse
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon falls between the Earth and the Sun and casts its shadow on the planet, obscuring a part or the whole of the Sun. It happens during the day, causing it to go dark. On the contrary, during a lunar eclipse, Earth is between the Moon and the Sun, stopping the sunlight from reaching the planet's natural satellite. It happens during the night, causing the full moon to fade.