Middle of eclipse season December 30

earthsky.org | 12/14/2019 | Bruce McClure
cobra662cobra662 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2016/08/eclipse-annular-5-20-2012-red-bluff-california-Brocken-Inaglory-300x300.jpg

Various stages of an annular solar eclipse from Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

The upcoming annual solar eclipse on December 26, 2019, happens some 4 days before the middle of the eclipse season, which falls on December 30, 2019. An eclipse season lasts for about 35 days, and any new moon or full moon occurring within this time period will undergo an eclipse. Given that the lunar month (period of time between successive new moons or successive full moons) is about 29.5 days long, a minimum of 2 eclipses (one solar and one lunar, in either order), or a maximum of 3 eclipses (either lunar/solar/lunar, or solar/lunar/solar) can take place in one eclipse season.

Eclipses - Eclipse - Season - Eclipses - One

Most often, there are only two eclipses in one eclipse season. For three eclipses to occur, the first one has to come quite early in the eclipse season to allow for a third eclipse near the end.

Eclipses are all about alignments. In a solar eclipse, the sun, moon and Earth line up, with the moon in the middle. Image via NASA.

Lunar - Eclipse - Sun - Earth - Moon

In a lunar eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, with the Earth in the middle. Image via NASA.

This time around, there are 2 eclipses in one eclipse season. The solar eclipse on December 26, 2019, happens about 4 days before the middle of the eclipse season, whereas the lunar eclipse on January 10, 2020, comes a solid 11 days after the midpoint of the eclipse season. Because this lunar eclipse happens rather late in the eclipse season, the upcoming new moon on January 10, 2020, won’t even meet up with the Earth’s dark umbral shadow. Rather, it’ll be a penumbral eclipse of the moon, whereby the moon sweeps through the faint penumbral shadow but misses the dark umbra, as depicted on the diagram below.


On January 10,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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