When the Sun, Earth, and the Moon align in a straight line (or form an almost straight configuration), we witness either a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse depending on the position of the Earth. A solar eclipse happens during the New Moon when the Moon moves between Earth and the Sun to cast a shadow on the Earth blocking the rays of Sun. A lunar eclipse happens during a Full Moon when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon blocking the Sun’s rays from directly reaching the Moon.
Solar eclipses in 2020
There are three kinds of solar eclipses — total, partial, and annular along with rare hybrid that is a combination of an annular and a total eclipse. There are between two and five solar eclipses every year. This year, there will be two solar eclipses— one is scheduled for Jun 21 and the other one is expected to occur on December 14.
Annular solar eclipse on June 21, 2020
As per timeanddate.com, the first solar eclipse of the year 2020 will fall on June 21. It will start at 9:15 am as per Indian Standard Timing (IST) and be visible until 3:04 pm. The full eclipse will start from 10:17 am to 2:02 pm where 12:10 pm will see the maximum eclipse.
The June 21 event will be an annular solar eclipse where the Moon will cover the Sun from the centre leaving the outer rim visible, thus creating a ring of fire. The event will be visible in India as well as much of Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. Parts of Europe and Australia will also witness the June 21 event.
Total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020
The second and last solar eclipse of the year 2020 will occur on December 14. As per timeanddate.com, the solar eclipse will start at 7:03 pm IST, reach the full eclipse by 8:02 pm, and the maximum eclipse will occur at 9:43 pm. The full eclipse will end at 11:24 pm, after which the partial eclipse will start and end by 12:23 am on December 15, 2020.
The December 14 event will be a total eclipse where the Moon completely blocks the Sun and casts a shadow over the planet. The celestial event will be visible directly from South America, Pacific, Atlantic, parts of Indian Ocean and Antarctica. Some parts of Africa will also witness the solar eclipse directly.
Lunar eclipses in 2020
Just like solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are also of three kinds– total, partial, and penumbral. The year 2020 has been listed to hold four lunar eclipses– one of which has been already witnessed in January. The remaining eclipses have been scheduled to occur in June, July, and November.
Also, just like the first lunar eclipse, the upcoming lunar eclipse of the year will be penumbral ones, which means the Moon travels through the faint penumbral portion of Earth’s shadow.
Lunar eclipse on June 5-6, 2020
As per timeanddate.com, the second lunar eclipse of the year will occur between June 5 and June 6. It will start at 11:15 pm IST on June 5 and reach the maximum eclipse at 12:54 am on June 6. The penumbral eclipse will end at 2:34 am on June 6, 2020. It will be visible in India along with much of Asia, much of Europe, Australia, Africa, South/East South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
Lunar eclipse on July 5, 2020
The third lunar eclipse of the year will occur between July 5. As per timeanddate.com, it will start at 8:37 am IST, reach maximum eclipse at 9:59 am, and end at 11:22 am. As evident from the timing, it will not be visible in India. The regions which will withness the penumbral lunar eclipse of July 5 include much of Africa, much of Nort America, South/West Europe, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
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Lunar Eclipse on November 30, 2020
The fourth and final lunar eclipse of the year will occur on November 30, 2020. It will start at 1:02 pm IST, and reach the maximum eclipse at 3:12 pm. The penumbral eclipse will end at 5:23 pm on November 30, 2020. This eclipse will also be not visible from India. As per timeanddate.com, the regions where it will be visible include much of Europe, much of Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, and the Arctic.
Notably, there will be a total of four eclipses in 2021– two will be solar eclipses and two will be lunar ones.