6 eclipses in 2020, 3 to be visible in India

6 eclipses in 2020, 3 to be visible in India

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.

This year's celestial events will start with a penumbral lunar eclipse during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday (January 10-11), which will be partially visible in India, he said.

The first eclipse of 2020 will start from 10.36 pm on Friday night and continue till 2.44 am on Saturday, Gupt added.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon align in an almost straight line. The earth blocks some of the sun's light from directly reaching the moon's surface, and covers a small part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.

According to Gupt, another penumbral lunar eclipse will occur during the intervening night of June 5 and 6 and it will be visible in India.

Penumbral lunar eclipses will also take place on July 5 and November 30, both of which will not be visible in the country as the celestial events will take place before the sunset, he said.

An annular solar eclipse will take place on June 21 and will be seen in India, he said.

Gupt added that a total solar eclipse would occur on December 14, which will not be visible in India as it will occur during the night in the country.

In 2019, three solar and two lunar eclipses were seen in different parts of the world.