After experiencing the strawberry moon followed by the ring of fire solar eclipse last month, the world is all set to perceive a penumbral lunar eclipse on July 5. The eclipse will start at 8:37 AM, attain the maximum eclipse phase at 9:59 am, and will end by 11:22 am. The total duration of the eclipse will be 2 hours 43 minutes.
The lunar eclipse will be visible in only 4 continents. Latin American countries like Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean islands, USA, Canada in North America, African countries, Western European countries like UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, and others.
In the year 2020, there will be four penumbral lunar eclipses. This type of eclipse is harder to spot as the penumbra is fainter compared to the dark core of the Earth’s shadow called ‘umbra’. The first one was witnessed on June 2. The second one occurred on June 5. The third lunar eclipse will appear on July 5 and the fourth one will be witnessed on November 10. Penumbral lunar eclipse is often confused with the full moon.
In India, there are several myths and superstitions related to the both lunar and solar eclipses. According to the Indian version of a lunar eclipse, a demon named Rahu eats up the moon during an eclipse.
In Hindi, the time duration in which the lunar eclipse occurs is referred to as Sutak time. Generally, people follow the Sutak according to the lunar eclipse timing and keep fasts. However, this year all the lunar eclipses are penumbral Sutak will not be considered during this time.
There are several beliefs associated with lunar eclipse. According to Hindu mythology, it is advised not to eat and step out of house as it brings bad health. Pregnant women are suggested to avoid looking at the eclipse as it is believed that the unborn child might take birth with physical deformities. Donating food and clothes is considered auspicious after the lunar eclipse.
According to NASA, a lunar eclipse occurs when the earth moves between the sun and the moon. When this happens, the earth blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon. There are three basic types of lunar eclipses – a subtle penumbral eclipse, a partial eclipse, and a total eclipse.