This Friday, Don't Miss the Full Wolf Moon Eclipse

Pablo Tucker
January 7, 2020

In 2020, the Wolf Moon happens to coincide with an eclipse-the first of six expected this year and the second of the current eclipse season, following the December 26 solar eclipse. 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. A full moon happens when the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth as the sun - its "face" will be fully illuminated.

It's certainly no Super Blood Wolf Moon total lunar eclipse.

What makes the eclipse interesting is partly its larger-than-usual appearance and subtle shifts in the shadow and hue of the moon during the 4-hour eclipse. Apart from January 10th, the lunar eclipse will occur on June 5, July 5 and November 30. A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when the Earth is nearly positioned between the sun and a full moon. Not only these countries, but even Australia will be able to see the eclipse.

The maximum eclipse will begin on January 10 at 7:10 pm and end on January 11 at 12:40 am.

Reverse map of where the Earth's shadow on the moon will be visible on 10 January 2020 around the world. This eclipse will be visible in India and if we believe in science, a lunar eclipse occurs only when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon.

This is because at that point the only light moving to the lunar surface is being filtered by the Earth's atmosphere.

In a stroke of luck, the Apollo missions managed to collect samples of lunar rock created just one billion years ago, apparently formed during a collision, which melted down and welded the rocks back together.

A partial lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, but covers only a part of Moon, leaving the other part visible. The Moon will appear dim, and won't be as bright as on other days. This effect is only perceptible to those with very astute (20/20) vision or using carefully-controlled cameras. The photo also won a NASA contest to become the official wallpaper of JPL for the public.

Since the penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth's shadow, the umbra, a penumbral eclipse of the Moon is often hard to tell apart from a normal Full Moon. The scarp is a low ridge or step about 80 meters high and running north-south through the western end of the Taurus-Littrow valley, the site of the Apollo 17 Moon landing.

The lunar eclipse is starting from 10.39 pm on the night of January 10 and it will be around 4 hours.

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