Lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan is set to appear in the skies today, and it will the second lunar eclipse of the four this year. It will be visible from India as well as several other parts of the world. This eclipse will be a partial penumbral eclipse, meaning the Moon will move through the faint, outer part of Earth’s shadow called the penumbra. This type of penumbral eclipse is often mistaken for a normal full Moon. Thus, it is also being referred to by other names, including Strawberry Moon Eclipse, Mead Moon Eclipse, Honey Moon Eclipse, and more.
Lunar eclipse 2020: What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
A penumbral lunar eclipse (Upchaya Chandra Grahan) is one of the three lunar eclipses – total, partial, and penumbral. During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon and the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, called the ‘penumbra’, covers all or part of the Moon. Since the penumbra is fainter compared to the dark core of the Earth’s shadow called ‘umbra’, this eclipse is harder to spot. This is also why sometimes a penumbral lunar eclipse is mistaken as a full Moon.
June full moon or Strawberry Moon
June’s full moon is coinciding with the penumbral lunar eclipse on June 5-6 and as per a report by Space.com, the full moon will occur on June 6 at 12:42am IST. It will be visible from India and other parts of the world, however, North America and most of South America will miss out on it. Strawberry Moon is a nickname for a full moon that appears in June. It comes from the strawberry harvesting season in some parts of the US.
“The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published “Indian” names for the full Moons in the 1930’s. According to this Almanac, as the full Moon in June and the last full Moon of spring, the Algonquin tribes called this the Strawberry Moon. The name comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the north-eastern United States,” writes NASA.
When and where to watch the June 2020 lunar eclipse (Chandra Grahan)
The penumbral lunar eclipse will start at 11:15pm IST on June 5 and last until 2:34am IST on June 6, which is about three hours and 18 minutes. It will be visible from Eastern Africa, the Middle East, Southern Asia including India, and Australia. As per the data by NASA, the eclipse will be visible to people living in the Eastern coast of South America, Western Africa, and Europe at Moonrise and to people in Japan and New Zealand at Moonset.
A map of regions that will get to witness the lunar eclipse
Photo Credit: NASA
How to watch the lunar eclipse
The penumbral lunar eclipse may be hard to spot but popular YouTube channels including Slooh and Virtual Telescope are known to host livestreams. Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 is will be carrying a live webcast of the eclipse that will be hosted by astronomer Gianluca Masi. If you live in one of the regions where this lunar eclipse will be visible, just go outside or on your roof and watch it with your eyes. You don’t need any special eyewear. As mentioned, the eclipse may be a little hard to spot.
Three eclipse in a lunar month
The lunar eclipse on June 5 is the first of three lunar eclipses in this lunar month of June to July 2020, as per a report by EarthSky. This is also called eclipse season. The first, as we know if on June 5, followed by June 21 Solar Eclipse that will be visible from Africa, South-eastern Europe, and Asia. The final lunar eclipse will happen on July 5 which will be visible to people in North and South America.