Eclipses During 2020

By Fred Espenak
Based on the Article Published in Observer's Handbook 2020, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Eclipses During 2020
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Jan 10
eclipse map

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Jun 05
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Annular Solar Eclipse
2020 Jun 21
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Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Jul 05
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Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Nov 30
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Total Solar Eclipse
2020 Dec 14
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In 2020, there are two solar eclipses and four penumbral lunar eclipses:

2020 Jan 10: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Jun 05: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Jun 21: Annular Solar Eclipse
2020 Jul 05: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Nov 30: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
2020 Dec 14: Total Solar Eclipse

Predictions for the eclipses are summarized in Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. World maps show the regions of visibility for each eclipse. The lunar eclipse diagrams also include the path of the Moon through Earth's shadow. Contact times for each principal phase are tabulated along with the magnitudes and geocentric coordinates of the Sun and Moon at greatest eclipse.

Unless otherwise stated, all times and dates used in this publication are in Universal Time or UT1 [1]. This astronomically derived time system is colloquially referred to as Greenwich Mean Time or GMT. To learn more about UT1 and how to convert UT1 to your own local time, see Time Zones and Universal Time.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of January 10

The first event of the year is a penumbral lunar eclipse occurring at the lunar orbit's ascending node in Gemini. The apparent diameter of the Moon is larger than average since the eclipse occurs 3.0 days before perigee. The Moon's orbital trajectory takes it through the northern part of Earth's penumbral shadow.

The Moon's path through Earth's shadow and a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event are shown in Figure 1. The times of the major eclipse phases are as follows.

                                   Penumbral Eclipse Begins:   17:07:45 UT1
                                   Greatest Eclipse:           19:10:02 UT1
                                   Penumbral Eclipse Ends:     21:12:25 UT1

At the instant of greatest eclipse [2] (19:10:02 UT1), the Moon lies at the zenith for a point in northwest India near Ahmedabad. The penumbral eclipse magnitude [3] is quite deep and peaks at 0.8956. This is close to being a total penumbral eclipse - the northern edge of the lunar limb lies just 3.7 arc-minutes outside the penumbral shadow.

Note that the beginning and end of a penumbral eclipse are not visible to the eye. In fact, no shading can be detected until about 2/3 of the Moon's disk is immersed in the penumbra. This would place the period of eclipse visibility within about 1/2 hours of greatest eclipse (about 18:40 to 19:40 UT1). Keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Atmospheric conditions and the observer's visual acuity are important factors to consider. An interesting exercise is to note when penumbral shading is first and last detected with the naked eye or binoculars.

The eclipse belongs to Saros 144 [4] and is number 16 of 71 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon's ascending node. The Moon moves southward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma [8] decreases. Complete details can be found at Saros 144 .

For more information about this eclipse, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 January 10.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of June 05

The second eclipse of 2020 is another penumbral lunar eclipse occurring at the lunar orbit's descending node in Ophiuchus 2.7 days after perigee. Once again the Moon passes through the northern part of Earth's penumbral shadow.

The Moon's path through Earth's shadow and a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event are shown in Figure 2. The times of the major eclipse phases are as follows.

                                   Penumbral Eclipse Begins:   17:45:51 UT1
                                   Greatest Eclipse:           19:25:05 UT1
                                   Penumbral Eclipse Ends:     21:04:09 UT1

At the instant of greatest eclipse (19:25:05 UT1), the Moon lies near the zenith from a location in the Indian Ocean about 1000 kilometers east of Mauritius. The entire event is visible from most of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and most of Australia. None of the eclipse will be visible from North America and most of South America.

The eclipse belongs to Saros 111 and is number 67 of 71 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon's descending node. The Moon moves northward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma increases. Complete details can be found at Saros 111 .

For more information about this eclipse, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 June 05.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Annular Solar Eclipse of June 21

The first solar eclipse of 2020 is annular and occurs on the June solstice. The Moon is at its ascending node in Taurus and 6.2 days passed apogee. The narrow path of the annular eclipse crosses central Africa and southern Asia. The partial phases are visible from Africa, eastern Europe, and much of Asia (Figure 3).

The Moon's antumbral shadow first touches down on Earth at 04:48 UT along the border between the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The central line duration of annularity here is 1 minute 22 seconds. Racing across the African continent, the antumbra crosses South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea before traversing the southern end of the Red Sea. The path passes over the Arabian Peninsula crossing Yemen, southeastern Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

By the time the antumbral shadow reaches the southern coast of Pakistan (05:50 UT1), the Sun's altitude is 62° and the duration of annularity is 45 seconds. Furthermore, the path width drops from 85 kilometers at its start, to 29 kilometers. These decreases in the duration and path width occur because the curvature of Earth is bringing the path closer to the vertex of the antumbral shadow. The duration and path width continue to decrease as the antumbra sweeps across Pakistan and northern India where greatest eclipse [5] occurs at 06:40:05 UT1. The Sun's altitude is 83°, the path width is 21 kilometers, and the duration of annularity is 38 seconds. The annular ring is quite thin because the eclipse magnitude [6] is 0.997 while the eclipse obscuration [7] is 0.988.

Leaving India, the shadow's trajectory takes it over a 3800-kilometer long track across southern China. As the antumbra reaches the coast, the city of Xiamen experiences a 56-second annular phase. Heading southeast, the shadow crosses Taiwan and out across the Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean with no other landfall. The island of Guam lies just outside the northern edge of the path. Residents there will see a partial eclipse of magnitude 0.977 about ten minutes before sunset.

At 08:32 UT1, the antumbra reaches Earth's terminator and returns to space. Over the course of 3 hours and 43 minutes, the Moon's antumbra travels along a 14,600-kilometer long path covering 0.13% of Earth's surface area. Central line coordinates and circumstances are presented in Table 1.

The Google Map: Annular Solar Eclipse of 2020 June 21 is an interactive map showing the eclipse path. Click anywhere on the map to calculate the eclipse times for that location. The default time zone is UT1, but this can be changed to any other time zone using the drop-down menu below the map.

Local circumstances and eclipse times for a number of cities in Europe and Africa appear in Table 2a, Western Asia in Table 2b, and Eastern Asia in Table 2c. All times are given in Local Time. The Sun's altitude and azimuth, eclipse magnitude and eclipse obscuration are all given at the instant of maximum eclipse.

The Solar Eclipse Circumstances Calculator: Annular Solar Eclipse of 2020 June 21 is an interactive web page that can quickly calculate the local circumstances for the eclipse from any geographic location not included in Table 2a, Table 2b, and Table 2c.

This event is the 36th eclipse of Saros 137 (Espenak and Meeus, 2006). The entire series of 70 eclipses spans the years 1389 through 2633. Only 10 members of this series were total (in the years 1551 through 1695). Saros 137 also has 10 hybrid, 36 annular, and 15 partial eclipses.

Complete details for the 70 eclipses in the series may be found at Saros 137.

For additional details on this event, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2020 June 21.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of July 05

The third lunar eclipse of the year occurs at the Moon's descending node in Sagittarius. Although it is a rather shallow eclipse with a penumbral eclipse magnitude of only 0.355, it is the first lunar eclipse of the year visible from the Western Hemisphere.

The Moon's path through Earth's shadow and a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event are shown in Figure 4. The times of the major eclipse phases are listed as follows.

                                   Penumbral Eclipse Begins:   03:07:23 UT1
                                   Greatest Eclipse:           04:30:02 UT1
                                   Penumbral Eclipse Ends:     05:52:27 UT1

At the instant of greatest eclipse (04:30:02 UT1) the Moon lies at the zenith for a point northern Argentina.

The eclipse belongs to Saros 149 and is number 3 of 71 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon's descending node. The Moon moves northward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma increases. Complete details can be found at Saros 149 .

For more information about this eclipse, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 July 05.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of November 30

The fourth lunar eclipse of the year occurs at the Moon's ascending node in Taurus. A much deeper penumbral eclipse than the previous one, the penumbral eclipse magnitude is 0.828, and it is also widely visible from the Western Hemisphere.

The Moon's path through Earth's penumbral shadow and a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event are shown in Figure 5. . The times of the major eclipse phases are as follows.

                                   Penumbral Eclipse Begins:   07:32:22 UT1
                                   Greatest Eclipse:           09:42:52 UT1
                                   Penumbral Eclipse Ends:     11:53:26 UT1

At the instant of greatest eclipse (09:42:52 UT1) the Moon lies at the zenith for a point near the Hawaiian Islands.

Once again the beginning and end of a penumbral eclipse are not visible to the eye. No shading can be detected until about 2/3 of the Moon's disk is immersed in the penumbra. This would place the period of eclipse visibility within about 1/2 hours of greatest eclipse (about 09:10 to 10:10 UT1). An interesting exercise is to note what time penumbral shading is first and last detected with the naked eye or with binoculars.

The eclipse belongs to Saros 116 and is number 58 of 73 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon's ascending node. The Moon moves southward with respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series and gamma decreases. Complete details can be found at Saros 116 .

For more information about this eclipse, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 November 30.

eclipse map
Click for larger more detailed figure

Total Solar Eclipse of December 14

The final event of the year is a total solar eclipse visible from a narrow corridor that traverses the Southern Hemisphere. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in the South Pacific, crosses South America, and ends at sunset in the South Atlantic. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes about 2/3 of South America (Figure 6).

The Moon's umbral shadow first touches down in the Pacific Ocean at 14:33 UT1 about 3900 kilometers southeast of the Hawaiian Islands. Along the sunrise terminator, the duration is only 29 seconds as seen from the center of the 35-kilometer-wide path. Ninety-seven minutes later, the umbra reaches the Pacific coast of Chile (16:00 UT1) 1000 kilometers south of where the Chilean track of the 2019 total solar eclipse began. The path is now 90 kilometers wide, the Sun's altitude is 71°, and the central duration of totality is 2 minutes 8 seconds.

Chile is a narrow country; from the western sea coast to the mountainous eastern border, the eclipse path is only 170 kilometers long. The umbra traverses this distance in just over 4 minutes. Fortunately, this region encompasses the cities or Villaricca and Pucon, two popular tourist resort areas that are especially popular in the summer, which is when the eclipse takes place.

Both cities lie along the shore of Villaricca Lake, which has a stabilizing effect on the weather. The dry season also occurs during the summer, so the area will be a popular destination for eclipse observers.

After its short transit of Chile, the umbral shadow crosses the Andes and enters Argentina. The small community of Peidra del Aguila lies about 20 kilometers south of the central line but still receives 1 minute 53 seconds of totality. It also lies in one of the sunniest and driest regions along the entire path. About 180 kilometers to the east is the point of greatest eclipse (16:13:29 UT1). The central line duration of totality is 2 minutes 10 seconds.

After finishing its 700 kilometer track through Argentina, the umbra sweeps across 7000 kilometers of the South Atlantic with no further landfall. It reaches Earth's sunset terminator at 17:54 UT1 and lifts back into space just 360 kilometers shy of the coast of Namibia.

In the course of its 3 hour 21 minute trajectory, the umbra's track is approximately 14,800 kilometers long and covers 0.20% of Earth's surface. Central line coordinates and circumstances are presented in Table 3.

The Google Map: Total Solar Eclipse of 2020 December 14 is an interactive map showing the eclipse path. Click anywhere on the map to calculate the eclipse times for that location. The default time zone is UT1, but this can be changed to any other time zone using the drop-down menu below the map.

Partial phases of the eclipse are visible from the southern 2/3 of South America. Local circumstances for a number of cities in the region are found in Table 4. All times are given in Local Time. The Sun's altitude and azimuth, the eclipse magnitude and obscuration are all given at the instant of maximum eclipse at each location.

The Solar Eclipse Circumstances Calculator: Total Solar Eclipse of 2020 December 14 is an interactive web page that can quickly calculate the local circumstances for the eclipse from any geographic location not included in Table 4.

This is the 23rd eclipse of Saros 142 (Espenak and Meeus, 2006). All eclipses in the series occur at the Moon's descending node and gamma [9] increases with each member in the family. The series is a young one that began with a small partial eclipse on 1624 Apr 17. After 8 partial eclipses the series produced its first central eclipse in the form of a hybrid eclipse on 1768 Jul 14. Since then, the series has produced a string of 13 total eclipses. It will continue to do so until its last central eclipse on 2543 Oct 29. Saros 142 will end with a series of 20 partial eclipses at high northern latitudes. In all, the series will produce 28 partial, 1 hybrid, and 43 total eclipses over a span of 1280 years.

Complete details for the 72 eclipses in the series may be found at Saros 142.

For additional details on this event, see the EclipseWise Prime Page for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2020 December 14.

Eclipse Altitudes and Azimuths

The altitude a and azimuth A of the Sun or Moon during an eclipse depend on the time and the observer's geographic coordinates. They are calculated as follows:

         h = 15 (GST + UT - α ) + λ
         a = arcsin [sin δ sin φ + cos δ cos h cos φ]
         A = arctan [-(cos δ sin h)/(sin δ cos φ - cos δ cos h sin φ)]

where

         h = hour angle of Sun or Moon
         a = altitude
         A = azimuth
         GST = Greenwich Sidereal Time at 0:00 UT
         UT = Universal Time
         α = right ascension of Sun or Moon
         δ = declination of Sun or Moon
         λ = observer's longitude (east +, west -)
         φ = observer's latitude (north +, south -)

During the eclipses of 2020, the values for GST and the geocentric Right Ascension and Declination of the Sun or the Moon (at greatest eclipse) are as follows:

              Eclipse                Date          GST         α          δ

              Penumbral Lunar     2020 Jan 10     7.319      7.446     23.001
              Penumbral Lunar     2020 Jun 05    16.979     16.974    -21.452
              Annular Solar       2020 Jun 21    17.995      6.026     23.436
              Penumbral Lunar     2020 Jul 05    18.909     18.987    -24.055
              Penumbral Lunar     2020 Nov 30     4.648      4.480     20.746
              Total Solar         2020 Dec 14     5.586     17.502    -23.259

Two web based tools that can also be used to calculate the local circumstances for all solar and lunar eclipses visible from any location. They are the Javascript Solar Eclipse Explorer and the Javascript Lunar Eclipse Explorer. The URLs for these tools are:

Javascript Solar Eclipse Explorer: www.EclipseWise.com/solar/JSEX/JSEX-index.html

Javascript Lunar Eclipse Explorer: www.EclipseWise.com/lunar/JLEX/JLEX-index.html

Eclipse Web Sites

EclipseWise.com is a website dedicated to predictions and information on eclipses of the Sun and Moon. It offers a graphically intuitive interface and contains maps, diagrams, tables, and information about every solar and lunar eclipse from 2000 BCE to 3000 CE. This period includes 11898 solar eclipses and 12064 lunar eclipses.

Much of EclipseWise.com is based on the Thousand Year Canon of Solar Eclipses 1501 to 2500 (Espenak 2014a) and the Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses 1501 to 2500 (Espenak 2014b). These eclipse predictions use the Jet Propulsion Lab's DE406 — a computer ephemeris used for calculating high precision coordinates of the Sun and Moon for thousands of years into the past and future.

The World Atlas of Solar Eclipses provides maps of all central eclipse paths from 2000 BCE to 3000 CE.

Information on solar and lunar eclipse photography, and tips on eclipse observing and eye safety may be found at www.mreclipse.com.

Observer's Handbook

Observer's Handbook

Eclipse Publications

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Acknowledgments

All eclipse predictions were generated on a Macintosh G4 PowerPC using algorithms developed from the Explanatory Supplement [1974] with additional algorithms from Meeus, Grosjean, and Vanderleen [1966]. The solar and lunar coordinates used in the eclipse predictions are based on the JPL DE405. For lunar eclipses, the diameter of the umbral and penumbral shadows were calculated using Danjon's rule of enlarging Earth's radius by 1/85 to compensate for the opacity of the terrestrial atmosphere; corrections for the mean effects of oblateness have also been included.

All calculations, diagrams, tables, and opinions presented in this paper are those of the author, and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy.

Permission is granted to reproduce the eclipse data when accompanied by a link to this page and an acknowledgment:

"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, EclipseWise.com"

The use of diagrams and maps is permitted provided that they are unaltered (except for re-sizing) and the embedded credit line is not removed or covered.

Footnotes

[1] UT1 or Universal Time is the mean solar time on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, England. Civil time signals are transmitted according to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is based on International Atomic Time (TAI) with leap seconds added at irregular intervals to compensate for the slowing of Earth's rotation. The leap seconds keep UTC within 0.9 second of UT1.

[2] The instant of greatest eclipse for lunar eclipses occurs when the distance between the Moon's shadow axis and Earth's geocenter reaches a minimum.

[3] Penumbral eclipse magnitude is defined as the fraction of the Moon's diameter occulted by Earth's penumbral shadow.

[4] The Saros is a period of 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hours) in which eclipses (both solar and lunar) repeat. The geometry isn't exact but close enough for a Saros series to last 12 or more centuries.

[5] The instant of greatest eclipse for solar eclipses occurs when the distance between the Moon's shadow axis and Earth's geocenter reaches a minimum.

[6] Eclipse magnitude for solar eclipses is defined as the fraction of the Sun's diameter occulted by the Moon.

[7] Eclipse obscuration is defined as the fraction of the Sun's area occulted by the Moon.

[8] For lunar eclipses, gamma is the distance of the Moon's center from Earth's shadow axis (in Earth radii) when it reaches its minimum absolute value.

[9] For solar eclipses, gamma is the distance of the Moon's shadow axis from Earth's center (in Earth radii) when it reaches its minimum absolute value.

[10] Umbral eclipse magnitude is defined as the fraction of the Moon's diameter occulted by Earth's umbral shadow.

References

Chauvenet, W., Manual of Spherical and Practical Astronomy, Vol.1, 1891 (Dover edition 1961).

Danjon, A., "Les éclipses de Lune par la pénombre en 1951," L'Astronomie, 65, 51-53 (Feb. 1951).

Espenak, F., and Meeus, J., Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: –1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), NASA TP–2006-214141, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 2006.

Espenak, F., and Meeus, J., Five Millennium Canon of Lunar Eclipses: –1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), NASA TP–2009-214172, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 2009a.

Espenak, F., and Meeus, J., Five Millennium Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: –1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), NASA TP–2009-214173, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 2009b.

Espenak, F., and Meeus, J., Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses: –1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), NASA TP–2009-214174, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 2009c.

Espenak, F., Thousand Year Canon of Solar Eclipses 1501 to 2500, AstroPixels Publishing, Portal, AZ, 2014.

Espenak, F., Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses 1501 to 2500, AstroPixels Publishing, Portal, AZ, 2014.

Espenak, F., 21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses, AstroPixels Publishing, Portal, AZ, 2016.

Espenak, F., Atlas of Central Solar Eclipses in the USA, AstroPixels Publishing, Portal, AZ, 2016.

Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office, London, 1974.