Kolkata: The first celestial event of 2020, a penumbral lunar eclipse, will take place on January 10 and skywathchers will be able to witness the phenomenon from all corners of India, including West Bengal.
The eclipse will begin at 10.37 pm on January 10 and will end around 2.42 am on January 11, the Director of M P Birla Planetarium, Debiprosad Duari, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The lunar eclipse on Friday will be the first of four penumbral lunar eclipses that will take place this year, Duari said, adding, the other three penumbral lunar eclipses will occur on June 5, July 5 and November 30.
The penumbral lunar eclipse will also be visible from different countries in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe, he said.
In a normal lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the central part of the earth's shadow called umbra, and one witnesses considerable darkening of the lunar disc.
But in case of January 10 penumbral lunar eclipse there will be only a slight dimming of the lunar surface, the statement quoted Duari as saying.
"To a naked eye it is sometimes a little difficult to recognise a penumbral lunar eclipse, though it is interesting to see the larger than usual appearance of the moon, and the shifts in shadow during the 4-hour period," the renowned astrophysicist said.
Asked if the event would be clearly visible from Kolkata, Duari said, Skygazers across the state, including Kolkata, will be able to witness the celestial event only if the weather does not play a spoilsport.
Prayagraj Magh Mela
The annual Magh Mela, one of the biggest religious congregations on the banks of the Sangam in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, began on Friday on the occasion of "Paush Purnima" even as temperatures dipped further adding to the winter chill.
More than 40 lakh devotees are expected to take the holy dip in the Sangam on Friday. The number could go up further because of the lunar eclipse on Friday.
Six eclipses in 2020
Astronomy enthusiasts and sky gazers will be able to watch six eclipses in 2020, but only three of them are expected to be visible in India. While four of these eclipses will be lunar, the
remaining two are going to be solar, Ujjain-based Jiwaji Observatory's Superintendent Dr Rajendraprakash Gupt said.
Lunar Eclipse January 2020 time and date
A penumbral lunar eclipse will be observed to the delight of the sky-gazers from January 10 to 11. According to timeanddate.com, the eclipse will start at 10.37 pm on January 10 (Friday) in the country, when the Earth's penumbra will start touching the Moon's face.
The eclipse will be most prominently seen at 12.40 am on January 11 (Saturday) as the Moon will get the closest to the center of the shadow. The eclipse will end by 2.42 am in the country on Saturday.
Two solar eclipses in 2020
In the year 2020, the Moon will block the Sun from the Earth twice by placing itself between the two resulting in solar eclipse. The annual solar eclipse in 2020 is scheduled to occur on June 21 and December 14.