Lunar Eclipse 2020: Date, Time, Sutak Period during ‘Chandra Grahan'
New Delhi, Jan 10: Astronomy enthusiasts and sky gazers will be able to watch the first penumbral lunar eclipse of 2020 on January 10 (Friday). The lunar eclipse, also called Chandra Grahan will be visible in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America. In India, the lunar eclipse from 10:37 pm on January 10 to 2:42 am on January 11. The eclipse will continue for 4.05 hours.
What is lunar eclipse, penumbral lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse is a celestial phenomenon when the moon passes through the central part of the earth's shadow called the umbra, and one witnesses considerable darkening of the lunar disc.
In a penumbral lunar eclipse, 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.
To a naked eye, it is sometimes a little difficult to recognise a penumbral lunar eclipse, though it is interesting to see the larger than usual appearance of the moon, and it lasts four 4-hour period.
Why is it called a Wolf Moon?
The first Full Moon of the year that appears usually in the month of January is also called a 'wolf moon'. It was known as Ice Moon, Snow Moon, Old Moon, and the Moon after Yule.
"Wolf Moon" is a nickname given to a full moon in January as many believe that wolfs howl at the full moon looking upwards in the month of January, hence the nickname 'wolf eclipse' was given.
Sutak during lunar eclipse
Sutak starts 9 hours before the lunar eclipse and this period is considered inauspicious. There will be no effect of the Sutak in the lunar eclipse occurring on January 10. According to astrology, the partial-lunar eclipse is not classified as a lunar eclipse, so this will not have a Sutak period.
During this period, people follow the Sutak and refrain from doing religious activities but in today's lunar eclipse the doors of the temples will also remain open.