Lunar eclipses are a result of the Earth’s shadow blocking the sun’s light. There are three types of lunar eclipses – total, partial and penumbral. In case of a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and the moon are imperfectly aligned, which means that the Earth blocks some of the sun’s light from reaching the Moon’s surface and covers all or a part of the Moon with its outer shadow, also known as the penumbra.
The penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth’s shadow, and hence it might be difficult to tell it apart from a normal full moon.
The penumbral lunar eclipse in June this year is called the ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’. During ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’, 57 per cent of the moon is expected to pass into the Earth’s penumbra.
The penumbral lunar eclipse or chandra grahan means that the moon will travel through the faint penumbral portion of Earth’s shadow. The next two lunar eclipses (also penumbral) of 2020 will be on 4-5 July and 29-30 November.
June’s Full Moon has been named after the wild strawberries that start to ripen during this month. Some sources indicate that a European name for this early summer month was Rose Moon, while another was Hot Moon, to indicate the beginning of the summer heat in European countries. The moon also has an Anglo-Saxon name because this was the time for mowing the meads, or meadows.
The Strawberry Moon turn a shade darker during the maximum phase of this penumbral lunar eclipse.
The total duration of the eclipse is 3 hours, 18 minutes.
Timing of penumbral lunar eclipse in India
India will witness the eclipse from June 5, 11.15 PM till June 6, 02.34 AM. The maximum eclipse will be visible on June 6, 12.54 AM.
An eclipse has company
A solar eclipse always occurs approximately two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, however, at other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.
A Total Solar Eclipse will occur on June 21 which will be visible throughout South/East Europe, Asia, Northern Australia, Africa, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
A second Total Solar Eclipse is expected on December 14 this year, expected to be visible across South Africa, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
The next Total Lunar Eclipse will occur on May 26, 2021, and will be visible from east Asia, Australia, the Pacific Ocean and the Americas.
This celestial event will be followed by a partial lunar eclipse on November 19, 2021, expected to be visible from North and South America, Australia and parts of Europe and Asia.
Precautions to take during a lunar eclipse
There are a number of precautions that should be followed when any eclipse – solar or lunar – appears. It is safe to look at a lunar eclipse with bare eyes and no special glasses are required for this. Certain traditional beliefs attached to eclipses, such as it has a strong effect on body cycles, indicated harm for pregnant women and more. There is, however, no scientific data to prove this yet.