Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Lunar Eclipse 27 Sept 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse
There will be a total lunar eclipse (TLE) visible in the western hemisphere in the evening of Sunday, the 27th of September. This eclipse takes place early enough for many to be able to see it and still get a good nights sleep before Monday rolls around. A lot of details about the eclipse and visibility can be found on Fred Espenak's most excellent website here: http://eclipsewise.com/lunar/LEnews/TLE2015Sep28/TLE2015Sep28.html

Lunar eclipses are not as exciting as Solar eclipses. Many call it the blood moon and other fancy names meant to make it seem amazing. Most will not notice it unless it is called out because modern people living amongst light polluted nights don't (can't) really notice much up in the sky. So if you have a telescope, set it up and invite others to take a look.

During totality the sky is much darker. The bright Moon has been dimmed so that the stars are easy to easy. Hanging out near the brown-red Moon is the planet Uranus at magnitude 6. Uranus is about five degrees (RA) east of the eclipsed Moon. While not visible to the eye it can be found using binoculars or a small telescope as a blue-green star like object. If you have an equatorial telescope mount, first point it at the Moon using a low magnification eyepiece. Then nudge the view along the RA axis to the East slowly looking for a blue-green star.

Moon and Uranus in Pisces


Finding Uranus in Pisces


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