Jun 05, 2020

'Strawberry Moon Eclipse' tonight

The second penumbral lunar eclipse of 2020 is to take place tonight (05).

Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, the Director of Astronomy and Space Science Unit, Department of Physics, Colombo University, says that the penumbral lunar  eclipse will begin on June 5th night at 11.15 pm Sri Lanka Standard Time, when the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon.

The eclipse ends up at 2.34 a.m. on June 06. The greatest eclipse will take place fifty-four minutes after midnight, i.e. at 00.54 a.m. on 6th.

A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned and the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon with the outer part of its shadow. This part is called the penumbra and thus comes the name penumbral lunar eclipse. Since the penumbra is much fainter than the dark core of the Earth’s shadow, a penumbral eclipse is hard to distinguish from the normal Full Moon.

In the Western world, today's moon is also called the 'strawberry moon'. The "strawberry" nickname for the June full moon doesn't refer to a color, but seems to be an old North American  reference to the strawberry harvest season in June.