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2020 shaping up to be a big year for solar and lunar eclipses

Max Blenkin

Sky watchers have six eclipses to look forward to in 2020, starting this Friday. As eclipses go, none of the two solar and four lunar eclipses are regarded as particularly special.

2020 shaping up to be a big year for solar and lunar eclipses
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The extreme southern tip of South America gets to see the only total solar eclipse of the year.

All four of the lunar eclipses are described as faint penumbrals, with the moon just grazing the outer bright shadow of the Earth.

This Friday is one of those.

According to the website Universe Today, here’s what’s coming:

  • 10 January – a penumbral lunar eclipse with a maximum penumbral immersion of eight per cent for Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
  • 5 June a penumbral lunar eclipse with a maximum penumbral immersion of 59 per cent for Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
  • 21 June an annular solar eclipse with a maximum duration of annularity of 38 seconds crossing central Africa, southern Asia, China and the Pacific.
  • 5 July a penumbral lunar eclipse with a maximum penumbral immersion of 36 per cent for the Americas, south-west Europe and Africa.
  • 30 November a penumbral lunar eclipse with a maximum penumbral immersion of 74 per cent for Asia, Australia, the Pacific and the Americas.
  • 10 December a total solar eclipse with a maximum duration of two minutes and 10 seconds, with totality crossing the South Pacific, Chile, Argentina and the south Atlantic. 

Universe Today said it draws its information from its book  The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos – with one listing the top astronomy events out to 2024, which will be the next great total solar eclipse across North America.

The last was in 2017.

For Australia, a remote part of Western Australia will experience a minute-long total eclipse in 2023.

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