Eclipse of the Moon is total magic

A total eclipse of the Moon thrilled and delighted observers all over the world on Saturday night. From the UK, conditions were near ideal with clear skies across the country throughout the event, the whole of which occurred with the Moon above the horizon.

A photo of totalityIt was the same story in Europe. The Mira public observatory in Belgium gave the world a continuous webcast of the eclipse. and a constant stream of excellent images was also obtained in Madrid, Spain.

The Moon entered the Earth’s main central shadow, or umbra, at around 21.30 UT. Observers watched entranced as it gradually became completely immersed and our natural satellite took on a magical red glow.

There had been predictions that the Moon would shine quite brightly during this total phase. The brilliance can depend on the amount of volcanic dust in the upper atmophere and there has not been a major eruption for some time.

In the event, observers were of the concensus that the Moon turned very dark in mid-eclipse, with many estimating a rating of L2 on the Danjon scale.

The image above was taken by Skymania News reporter Paul Sutherland at 23.31 UT using a Canon EOS 300D camera, sold as the Digital Rebel in the USA, with an old M42 screw-thread 200mm lens.

More excellent images from the eclipse can be seen in the gallery of the forum on the Society for Popular Astronomy’s website.

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Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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