The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London has recently released a short statement in which gives the dates of the lunar and solar eclipses we’re going to have part of this year, as well as next year.
On the other hand, the US space agency, NASA, explained in an own statement what lunar eclipses are, why they take place, and how scientists determine when they occur using special technology.
What Is A Lunar Eclipse And Why It Takes Place?
An eclipse takes place when a cosmic body such as a Moon or the Sun moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are two kinds of eclipses we can see with the naked eye from the Earth: an eclipse of the Moon and an eclipse of the Sun.
The Moon does not shine, but it mirrors sunlight glistering on its surface. During a lunar eclipse, our planet’s heliocentric orbit sets the planet between the Sun and the Moon, obstructing the sunlight reaching the Moon.
There are also two types of lunar eclipses: total and partial. A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon and the Sun are on direct opposite flanks of the Earth. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when a section of our planet’s shadow hides the Moon.
The Moon can take on a strange rusty red color during particular stages of a lunar eclipse. This happens because the only remaining sunlight getting to the Moon at that moment in time is from around the rims of the Earth, as seen from the lunar surface.
What Is A Solar Eclipse And How It Occurs?
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, throwing a shadow over Earth. It can only happen during a New Moon phase. Irrelevant on the alignment, a partial solar eclipse or an annular solar eclipse is subjected to various factors.
The fact that an eclipse can take place is a complete fortuity of cosmic mechanics. Ever since the Moon first took shape about 4.5 billion years ago, it has been slowly moving away from the Earth. The Sun’s diameter of 864,000 miles is entirely 400 times more massive than that if the Moon, which has approximately 2,160 miles across. However, the Moon is about 400 times closer to us than the Sun.
The Next Lunar And Solar Eclipses
The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London explained that there are between two and five solar eclipses every year, including a total eclipse that takes place approximately every 18 months.
”Total solar eclipses are seen every 400 years from any one place on the surface of the Earth,” the observatory said.
Here are the dates at which we should expect the next celestial mechanisms to do their thing.
- December 26th, 2019 – Annular solar eclipse. This means the Moon covers the Sun’s center
- January 10th–11th, 2020 – Penumbral lunar eclipse. It happens when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned
- June 5th–6th, 2020 – Penumbral lunar eclipse
- June 21st, 2020 – Annular solar eclipse
- July 4th–5th, 2020 – Penumbral lunar eclipse
- November 29th–30th, 2020 – Penumbral lunar eclipse
- December 14th, 2020 – Total solar eclipse