As virus eclipses life, get set for a shadow play between sun and moon

Lunar Eclipse
The lunar eclipse on June 5, 2020, happens to take place at the commencement of the eclipse season | iStock Photo

The earth is set to eclipse the moon from the sun’s glare on the night of June 5, and it will be the second lunar eclipse this year. Moon watchers will be able to see the earth's shadow fall on the moon's surface for about three hours from parts of Europe, central and western Africa, most of Asia and Australia. Here are 10 things to know about the eclipse.

1. A penumbral eclipse will commence on June 5, 2020, at 23:13 and end at 02:36 on June 6, 2020. The maximum eclipse will take place at 00:55 on June 6, 2020. About 59% of the moon will be covered by the penumbral shadow of the earth at the instance of maximum eclipse. This is the second lunar eclipse this year; the first one took place on January 10, 2020.

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2. Eclipses are a shadow play between the sun and the moon. The popular purānic myth of demons Rāhu and Ketu causing eclipses was challenged by Āryabhaṭa (476–550 CE), a towering figure in Indian astronomy. He propounded the scientific theory of eclipses and established that when the sun, earth and the moon are in the same plane and in that order, earth's shadow falls on the moon, causing a lunar eclipse.

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