This year it opened, from an astronomical point of view, with a partial penumbral eclipse of the Moon on January 10, 2020. The Earth on that occasion, was aligned with the Sun and the Moon. The twilight of the Earth partially obscured the Moon, in the full phase. The penumbra is the outermost part of the cone of shadow that the Earth casts.
A penumbral eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, aligned with the two. The Moon is in the full moon phase. During an eclipse of this type, our natural satellite crosses the outermost part of the shadow cone that the Earth projects into space. It is therefore a less intense phenomenon than total or partial “real” (not penumbral) eclipses of the Moon; in some cases, in fact, this phenomenon is barely perceptible from Earth.
This year there will be three other penumbral eclipses of the Moon, some more visible from Italy than others. Let’s now see specifically when there will be the next eclipses of this 2020, and how to observe them.
On June 5, 2020, we will witness a phenomenon similar to that observed on the occasion of the first eclipse of the year 2020. In fact, there will again be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon. The beginning of the penumbra is expected at 19:46, while the maximum phase is scheduled for 21:25. At the latitude of Rome, the Moon will not be very high in the sky at this time (about 7 °) so it is possible that the phenomenon will not be very evident.
A month later, on July 5, 2020, the sky will surprise us again with another penumbral eclipse of the Moon. This time the maximum eclipse time is scheduled for 06:30 in the morning.
On November 30, 2020, another penumbral lunar eclipse will occur, but it will not be visible from Italy.
So there will be 3 next penumbral lunar eclipses. They will be visible from Italy, except for the November 30 eclipse, which will be visible in various other parts of the world.
On June 5, 2020, the Moon will be in the constellation of Sagittarius, therefore low on the South-East horizon. As for the other two eclipses, as we have said, it will be almost impossible to assist you. In fact, the Moon in the eclipse of July 5, 2020 will be below the horizon (-9 °) and it will not be possible to see it.
During the phenomenon, the moon will be slightly darker than usual. You will notice with difficulty a decrease in its magnitude during the peak of the phenomenon. It will therefore be an additional opportunity to take photos of our natural satellite, and to admire it perhaps with the help of a telescope or an optical instrument.