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Lunar Eclipse January 2020: What you need to know

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The Times Of India
04th January, 2020 15:37 IST

A lunar eclipse is a celestial event when the earth blocks sunlight from directly touching the moon's surface and this in a way, creates an imperfect alignment of the three solar creations-sun, moon, and the earth.

January 10, 2020, will be one such day when sky gazers across the world will be able to sight one of the first lunar eclipses for the year, which will be penumbral. In total, there will four such lunar eclipses through the year, occurring on June 5, July 5 and November 30. The January 10 eclipse will be visible from parts of the world like Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

What happens during a lunar eclipse?
During the eclipse, 90 percent of the moon’s surface will be partially covered by the Earth with only the outer part of the shadow appearing. While penumbral lunar eclipses are usually a little darker, they cannot be easily distinguished from a regular full moon sighting but can be easily seen, as long as the sky is clear.

While it will make for a sight to see for sure, here is all you need to know about this magical celestial event:

Depending on the location, the timings for the moon rising and sighting may differ. The total duration of the eclipse is 4 hours, 5 minutes. It is also known as a "wolf moon eclipse" as well.

The penumbral lunar eclipse of January 2020, which will take place between the nights of January 10-11, will be completely visible to almost all Indian cities. The lunar eclipse will last from 10.37 pm to 2.42 am Indian Standard Time (IST)

Are there any precautions to keep in mind?
Whenever an eclipse appears, it comes with a lot of precautions. According to experts, it is completely safe to look at a lunar eclipse with bare eyes. There are two phases of lunar eclipse: the partial phase, in which part of the moon passes through earth’s shadow, and a total lunar eclipse, in which the entire moon passes through the earth’s shadow. Experts say that there are no special glasses required to watch the lunar eclipse and it is safe to watch all the phases of the lunar eclipse.

According to some schools of belief, eclipses also have a strong effect on our body cycles and hence, some cultures lay stress on following certain dos and donts because of the eclipse's effect on our diet and health. Since the planetary position of the earth moves away from its fixed place, changes are bound to happen. This, again, has no scientific claim but still as a general precaution, diet restrictions are imposed.

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