Lunar Eclipse 2020: Date, Time, Significance And More

James Marshall
July 3, 2020

"Then again... very observant people will notice something odd happening on the moon, even while not knowing an eclipse is taking place". The entire eclipse lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes, ending on Sunday morning at 5:52 UT/1:52 AM EDT. But it could be visible to sharp-eyed sky watchers here in New Jersey and in other areas of North America. The moon will pass through the outer part of the earth's shadow.

For the unversed, there are three kinds of lunar eclipses: Total lunar eclipse, Partial lunar eclipse and Penumbral lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse, the Full Moon passes right through the middle of the darkest part of the shadow (the umbra), which turns it a dusky red colour.

According to The Farmer's Almanac, the penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America, except in the northernmost regions of Canada and Alaska.

At the height of the eclipse, less than half of the Moon will pass through the penumbra. "Instead, at mid-eclipse, observant people will notice a shading on the moon's face".

Note This map does not reflect the expected cloud conditions for Saturday night. Check your local forecast to see if you will have clear skies

Ironically, all four lunar eclipses in 2020 are penumbral only; the final one takes place on November 30, leading us into the big ticket total solar eclipse of December 14 crossing the southern tip of South America.

The eclipse was first spotted in the northeastern Republic of Congo from 5:56am local time, just a few minutes after sunrise, before reaching a flawless "halo" over Uttarakhand, India, at 12:10pm local time. In technical terms, the moon enters into the penumbra of the earth, getting obstructed by its presence as it exclusively relies upon the sun on for luminescence. Penumbral lunar eclipses tend not to be as spectacular as partial or full eclipses. Only a lighter outer shadow of the Earth - the penumbra - will fall on the moon.

The name comes from the summer storms that occur around July's full moon, but is also referred to as the "Buck Moon" because male deer lose their antlers this month. The only distinguishing factor will be that the moon will appear darker.

While there won't be as many man-made fireworks as usual this Independence Day weekend, Mother Nature will be putting on her own sky show - with a full "thunder moon" rising on July 4 and a partial lunar eclipse occurring on the same night. 'It's a cold light and you don't see as well'.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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