Friday, October 2, 2015

Lunar Eclipse - 27 Sept 2015

This total lunar eclipse on Sunday 27 Sept was special for a couple of reasons.

First, it occurred during a "super moon", which is when the moon appears slightly larger in the sky due to its relative closeness to earth in its elliptical orbit.

Second, it is the final lunar eclipse of a tetrad - a series of 4 total lunar eclipses occurring 6 lunar-months apart.

Third, it was easy to see because here on the west coast it began just after sunset. So no need to set the alarm to wake up at "what-the-heck-were-we-thinking" o'clock and wander outside to view while half asleep.

And finally, we had a convenient viewing spot with an unobstructed east horizon, less than a mile from our house.

All pics  were taken while holding our digital camera to the eyepiece of our 25x  field scope.

The moon rose already in partial eclipse. We soon noticed that there were some thin low clouds on the horizon. They created a band-like appearance across the face of the moon.

As the eclipse progressed we could notice the moon began to take on a reddish color. This is caused by the  sun's light passing through the earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon.

The redness became more pronounced as the moon passed deeper through the earth's shadow.

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