Yesterday (Oct. 8, 2014), skywatchers across much of the world, had the chance to see another ‘blood red moon’ as the moon passes behind the Earth and into our shadow. This alignment usually occurs only once every couple of years.
In the Philippines, maximum eclipse occured at 18:55 PST (06:55 P.M.) in the eastern sky.
Cloudy skies and rain due to the presence of Super Typhoon Ompong (Vongfong) within PAR threatened to spoil this spectacular event. The weather outlook for the day doesn’t make it conducive for an unobstructed viewing. We watched from 5:30 pm to 9:10 pm in mostly cloudy skies. But luckily, we did get good breaks and saw the totality and egress when the cloud thinned at times and the rain held off.
Following are some of the images I took using my Canon Powershot SX40 HS and Nikon D3200 dslr. I will post more photos soon.
An annular solar eclipse will occur on May 9-10, 2013 (depending on your location). During an annular eclipse, the Moon is near its farthest distance from Earth (i.e., near its apogee) so it appears slightly smaller than the Sun’s disk. Since the Moon doesn’t cover the Sun completely, this leaves a bright ring of sunlight surrounding the Moon’s disk, often called the “Ring of Fire” effect. About 95% of the solar disk will be eclipsed by the Moon.
The path of annularity of the eclipse passes through parts of North Australia, SE Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, provided the weather cooperates. Partial eclipse will be seen in a much broader path, which includes other parts of Australia, Eastern Indonesia, Oceania and Southern Philippines.
Time table Worldwide
The eclipse can be observed from 6:08 am until 7:34 am in the Philippines. For local observers, please check the gallery below to give you and idea on how the eclipse would look like for selected localities. Other locations nearby will also see similar views.
Partial eclipse as seen from various locations in the Philippines at maximum eclipse, 6:41 a.m. local time. Simulated in Stellarium. Hover your mouse over an image to view the location.
PAGASA indicated the areas where the eclipse can be observed, including Sorsogon, Masbate, Roxas City, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu, Tacloban, Dumaguete, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Zamboanga, Hinatuan, Cotabato, Jolo, Davao, and General Santos. It also created a table of local times for viewing the eclipse for the above-mentioned locations.
Note that the eclipse is not visible in Luzon except in the southern tip.
Viewing the Eclipse SAFELY
For observers along the path of the eclipse, astronomers recommend using either a professionally manufactured solar filter in front of a telescope or camera, or eclipse-viewing glasses that sufficiently reduce the sun’s brightness and filter out damaging ultraviolet and infrared radiation. NEVER attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!
To view the eclipse safely, Fred Espenak (www.mreclipse.com) compiled here a list of the acceptable and non-recommended filters for visual observation.
Acceptable filters for unaided visual observations: aluminized polyester specifically designed for solar viewing, shade 12 and 14 welding filters, black polymer filters (Thousand Oaks Solar Shield 2000 and Rainbow Symphony Polymer), and two layers of fully exposed and developed silver-bearing black and white film negative. For photographic and visual use, particularly with binoculars or telescopes, acceptable filters include: aluminized polyester specifically designed for the purpose, and Questar and Thousand Oaks T1 and T2 glass filters. The Thousand Oaks T3 filter should be used with extreme care for photographic use only.
Not recommended: metal-coated polyester that is not specifically intended for solar observation, smoked glass, floppy disk media, black color transparency (slide) film, floppy disk media, and compact disks (because of the inconsistent quality of the metal coating).”
For those who won’t be able to observe the eclipse from their location, you may still watch via live webstreaming of the event.
- SLOOH Space Camera http://events.slooh.com/
- Solar Eclipse Australia http://www.ustream.tv/channel/solar-eclipse-australia
Clear skies and happy viewing!
There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse visible in the Philippines on November 28, 2012. Penumbral lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through Earth’s penumbral shadow.
Here are the key times for the lunar eclipse based on information from NASA:
Penumbral eclipse starts – 12:14:58 UT (8:14 p.m. PHT)
Greatest eclipse – 14:33:00 UT (10:33 p.m. PHT)
Penumbral eclipse ends – 16:51:02 UT (12:51 a.m. PHT)
(Note: Philippine time is UT+8)
Unlike partial and total lunar eclipses, penumbral eclipses are not very noticeable. It is because the change of shade to the Moon is so small that hardly any difference can be seen compared to a normal Full Moon. You will not see a chunk on the moon taken out of one side; nor you’ll see the Moon turn red (as it does during a total lunar eclipse) for it will not pass through Earth’s umbral shadow.
The start and end of the eclipse will not be visible to the naked eye and cannot be detected without special equipment, like telescopes and binoculars. In fact, it is only during about 30 minutes before and after the eclipse’s maximum that a light grey shading will be seen along the moon’s northern limb.
Although it is not that spectacular, this event still provides the opportunity to see dimming on the Moon’s surface. Moreover, it’s also nice to spot the Moon near bright Jupiter and the bright star Aldebaran in the night sky during this event.
Remember, it is quite safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye. 🙂 Clear skies and happy viewing!
I was lucky to have witnessed the partially eclipsed moon in the eastern sky last night despite a thick cloud cover and a chance of a thunderstorm.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry”, hence the name.
Because of this, it seemed as if the shadow of the Earth that covered the moon during the eclipse is a small bite out of the Strawberry Moon.
Shown below is a composite image of eight separate photos showing the phases of last night’s partial lunar eclipse beginning at 7:32 pm PHT as seen from Marikina City, in mostly cloudy skies.
Yesterday’s weather had been winding us up all day, with nearly 100% cloud cover from dawn to dusk. Fortunately, we did get good cloud breaks which allowed glimpses of the Moon.
By the way, I observed this event with my fellow UP AstroSoc member and favorite observing buddy, Bea Banzuela from the rooftop of their house located in Barangka, Marikina City.
Tomorrow, a rare transit of Venus across the Sun’s disk will surely entice a lot of sky viewers again. It is an event that you would not want to miss!
This morning, a wonderful view of a golden crescent sun was successfully observed by a lot of skyviewers using appropriate filters for visual observing and photography. The partial solar eclipse began at sunrise at 5:27 am local time and ended at 7:06 am. Fortunately, the weather cooperated this time despite bad weather forecasts and continuous rains during the past few days.
In some places like China, Japan, and United States, the event was seen as an annular eclipse which looked like a fiery ring in the sky.
I observed this event along with an Astrosoc orgmate in their house at Marikina City. Their location is great for observing events which can be viewed along the eastern sky. Moreover, it is also high enough to give a very good vantage point.
Only a few minutes after sunrise, a big yellowish grin in the east just above a layer of clouds greeted us earthlings who patiently waited even without sleep. Yay!
Many Filipinos anticipated the event as solar eclipses are not frequently visible in the Philippines. The last one occurred last January 15, 2010, while the next won’t take place until March 9, 2016.
For avid amateur astronomers like me, this event was extra special as it provides a good opportunity for me to practice solar observation in preparation for the upcoming transit of Venus, a very rare phenomenon that won’t be repeated until 2117. I have never done any solar observation before using my own Galileoscope for fear of getting it damaged (its lens and body tube were both made up of plastic which are not great for viewing the sun using solar projection method). Moreover, the danger of having an eye injury also worried me. Hence, I decided not to pursue solar observation unless I get a decent filter that I could safely attach and use with my equipment — be it a camera or my scope.
Months before this event, I was very anxious that I might not be able to observe it having only a cheap plastic scope and a camera. But I was really determined that I’ve read a lot about solar observing and saved some money for it just in case there’d be a need to buy some materials. When the event came nearer, however, financial constraints became a problem, so I just forego the idea of buying a costly filter and chose to buy a #10 welding glass instead. It might not produce nice images but it’s a good and safe alternative.
Nonetheless, God must have heard my thoughts that he made a miracle. Haha! A few days before the solar eclipse, a nice surprise came in when a generous UP AstroSoc orgmate offered me an extra piece of Baader solar filter — for free! Wee!:)
Below were some of the images I took using a hand-held Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH2 digital camera on a 2-inch refractor (Galileoscope) with a Baader 5.0 ND solar filter.
I will upload the other photos soon, including a complete observation report. For the meantime, I’d better get some sleep first because I still need to attend some other important conventions outside the city. 🙂
To the stars!
The first solar eclipse in 2012 will be an annular solar eclipse on May 20–21. The term came from the Latin word “annulus,” meaning “little ring”, because the moon will not completely cover the sun during the totality (unlike in a total solar eclipse), but will leave a fiery ring around its circumference.
A telescopic picture of the Sun taken during the annular eclipse of January 15, 2010 from the city of Kanyakumari at the southern tip of India. Image Credit & Copyright: Mikael Svalgaard
Warning: NEVER look directly at the sun through binoculars, a telescope or with your unaided eye.
At its peak, the moon will block roughly 94 percent of the sun’s light.
This potentially spectacular solar eclipse will be visible from much of Asia, the Pacific region and North America, provided the weather cooperates.
Time table worldwide
The eclipse starts in one location and ends in another, the times below are for visibility for any location on earth.
|Event||UTC Time||Time in Manila|
|First location to see partial eclipse begins||20 May, 20:56||21 May, 04:56|
|First location to see full Eclipse begins||20 May, 22:06||21 May, 06:06|
|Maximum Eclipse||20 May, 23:54||21 May, 07:54|
|Last location to see full Eclipse ends||21 May, 01:39||21 May, 09:39|
|Last location to see partial Eclipse ends||21 May, 02:49||21 May, 10:49|
Note to Philippine observers: The fiery ring would not be visible in the Philippines. Instead, a partial solar eclipse beginning at sunrise on May 21 will be visible.
Local circumstances of the partial solar eclipse on Monday (May 21) in the Philippines courtesy of UPLB Astronomical Society. Screenshots were taken using Stellarium.
Remember that this spectacular sight can only be safely observed with approved solar filters or by projecting an image of the eclipsed Sun onto a flat white surface. Look for pinhole effects on the ground (shadows of trees or bushes) or use some another projection viewing method to safely view the eclipsed sun.
The Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye ONLY during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse. Even at maximum, the annular eclipse will not cover the brightest parts of the sun. Partial eclipses, annular eclipses, and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!
Tips on how to view the Sun safely
- Eye Safety during Solar Eclipses by Fred Espenak http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety.html
- Safe Viewing Techniques [of the Sun] http://www.transitofvenus.org/june2012/eye-safety
- Indirect way of viewing the Sun via pinhole projection http://www.education.com/activity/article/Pinhole_Projection/ http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/how.html http://www.hartrao.ac.za/other/eclipse2002/pinhole.html
- Eclipse filters http://www.mreclipse.com/Special/filters.html
“Filters for visual and photographic use
Acceptable filters for unaided visual observations include: aluminized polyester specifically designed for solar viewing, shade 12 and 14 welding filters, black polymer filters (Thousand Oaks Solar Shield 2000 and Rainbow Symphony Polymer), and two layers of fully exposed and developed silver-bearing black and white film negative. For photographic and visual use, particularly with binoculars or telescopes, acceptable filters include: aluminized polyester specifically designed for the purpose, and Questar and Thousand Oaks T1 and T2 glass filters. The Thousand Oaks T3 filter should be used with extreme care for photographic use only. Not recommended are: metal-coated polyester that is not specifically intended for solar observation, smoked glass, floppy disk media, black colour transparency (slide) film, floppy disk media, and compact disks (because of the inconsistent quality of the metal coating).”
- NASA’s eclipse website http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html
- A series of detailed maps for this eclipse created by Michael Zeiler http://eclipse-maps.com/Eclipse-Maps/Gallery/Pages/Annular_solar_eclipse_of_2012_May_20.html
- Animation of the partial solar eclipse in Manila http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/philippines/manila
For those who won’t be able to observe the eclipse from their location, you may still watch via live webstreaming of the event.
- SLOOH Space Camera
Despite the rain and an overcast sky, we were thankful that for a brief period of time God permitted us to have a glimpse of the Red Moon during the total eclipse of the moon last December 10, 2011.
The moon was nearly high overhead during the totality phase of the eclipse and was located in the constellation Taurus. Totality lasted for about 51 mins.
I didn’t get decent shots of the moon during this event but I was really happy to have witnessed it. 🙂
Click on the images below to see larger versions.
The red tint of the eclipsed Moon is created by sunlight first passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, which preferentially scatters blue light (making the sky blue) but passes and refracts red light, before reflecting back off the Moon. Differing amounts of clouds and volcanic dust in the Earth’s atmosphere make each lunar eclipse appear differently.
By the way, I observed this event together with my friend and UP AstroSoc orgmate, Bea Banzuela. We were eating a cold dinner (literally!) from the rooftop of their house in Marikina City while checking the sky and taking photos of the moon.
Bea used her sophisticated camera, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (with telephoto lens) in capturing lunar images. Below is one of the images she took:
The lunar features in this image are more recognizable. 🙂 I love that camera! Haha! Thanks Bea, for allowing me to repost this.
“When you want something, all the universe conspire in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Didn’t know that one image of mine got featured in Universe Today last October 12. 😀 Click here to view the article.
Thanks, Universe Today!
I began my preparation to observe the June 16, 2011 Total Lunar Eclipse as soon as I’ve learned about it several months ago.
It was a relatively rare opportunity to observe a Total Eclipse of the Moon — not to mention that the duration of totality of this eclipse will be one of the longest in 100 years (totality lasted for 100 minutes, from 3:22 am until around 5:02 am PHT).
I immediately checked the eclipse circumstances available in the NASA eclipse website and estimated the location of the Moon for each phase using Stellarium, so as to choose the best place to observe the event. I also reviewed the previous photos I’ve taken to see which places have a clear view of the southwest sky — the region where the Moon was mostly located during the course of the whole eclipse event. After considering a few sites, I came down to only three choices — the PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman, a place along San Miguel by the Bay and at the Seven Suites Hotel Observatory in Antipolo.
Dropping the other two choices, I observed at the Seven Suites.
Since I still have a class to attend the following morning, observing at San Miguel by the Bay was the least good option. It surely was a nice place to observe as it has a very clear western horizon (which will enable me to catch a glimpse of the eclipsed moon setting at the bayside), but traveling would be a bit of a hassle for me because it was too far. The most convenient choice was actually to observe at the PAGASA Observatory. It’s just a walking distance away from my college and most of my orgmates in UP AstroSoc were there, too. However, I was worried that the buildings surrounding the observatory might block the view of the Moon when it gets too low during the last phases.
Through Mr. Ramon Acevedo or Kuya Ramon — an alumnus of my astronomy org UP AstroSoc — the manager of Seven Suites allowed me and a few more orgmates to observe from Seven Suites for free 🙂 Thanks, Kuya Ramon!
Seven Suites is the first and only hotel observatory in the Philippines. As it is situated along the hillside route of Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City (not too far away from UP Diliman), it offers a breathtaking view of Manila by night — a stunning view of the metropolis, its city lights and the dazzling night sky. It also houses a 12”diameter Dobsonian which is the fourth largest telescope in the country.
We arrived at Seven Suites at about two hours before the start of the penumbral eclipse. Upon reaching the roof deck, we marveled at the awesome cityscape just below us.
Despite the rainy weather forecast, thank God it didn’t rain a bit the whole night. Only a few patches of clouds could be seen floating amid the moonlit sky.
A few minutes past midnight, a group of mediamen from a local TV Network came to join us to cover the event. Someone from GMA contacted me earlier that day via Twitter for an interview regarding the eclipse. He told me that he learned about me after seeing a post which linked my astro blog. He further asked me where I will be observing the event and I told him of my plan and the time of the eclipse . I also added that another group of my orgmates in UP AstroSoc will also be observing the event from the PAGASA Observatory. After our conversation, he said that they will send a group there. And they did. Kuya Ramon was also notified of their coming.
I shied away from the camera when they started doing the interview. Any how, my other orgmates were also there and they answered the interview questions adequately. 🙂
All of us were excited to witness the eclipse. But before it started, a bright fireball zoomed in to our view. It came from the northeast direction, near the Summer Triangle so we guessed that it could be a June Lyrid.
At the time of the penumbral eclipse, no visible changes in the moon’s brightness can be easily recognized until it slowly become dimmer a few minutes before the umbral phase. By about 2:30 AM, a small part of the Moon on its upper left limb was already being covered by the Earth’s shadow. This chunk grew larger and larger after several minutes until finally only a small sliver of the Moon remained visible. The Moon entered totality at 3:22 AM. Just before the light on the Moon totally disappeared, an apparent reddening of the lunar disk took place. It became more and more obvious to the eye until the whole lunar disk was transformed to a blood-red orb hanging above among the stars. It was a breath-taking view.
I also created two montage composed of the images of the Moon during different stages of the eclipse. In the second photo, the images were taken by about 5-10 minutes apart.
Totality ended at 5:02 AM. Unfortunately, the fifth contact (end of the partial eclipse) and sixth contact (end of the penumbral eclipse) could not be observed from the Philippines since the moonset was at 5:30 AM.
Here is a time-lapse video of the setting eclipsed Moon which I made using Windows Movie Maker. The transition of the images were quite slow because each frame can only be separated by a minimum of 1 second when using WMM. Can anyone suggest a better video editing software (preferably with a small size on disk) that can be used by amateurs?
Only a small part of the Moon remained visible as it continuously sank near the horizon. A few minutes before sunrise, we noticed another nice atmospheric phenomenon — anticrepuscular rays.
Anticrepuscular rays are similar to crepuscular rays, but seen opposite the sun in the sky during sunrise or sunset.
We packed up and prepared to leave at around 6:00 in the morning. I was starting to feel tired during then but I resisted sleepiness as I still need to attend my class. One of us even said that we were already like zombies during that moment because of sleep-deprivation. Haha!
Our efforts didn’t go fruitless, anyway. Seeing the Red Moon was truly a priceless experience. Besides, I was also happy that I was finally able to set foot in Seven Suites after a few years. Yes, I’ve been planning to visit the place ever since. but some circumstances seemed to hindered me most of the time.
All photos were taken using Nikon D3000 DSLR camera. Thank you, Nicky for lending me your camera. 🙂
My fellow UP AstroSoc members who observed at the PAGASA Observatory were also successful in observing and documenting this event. God is really great, we were not clouded out. 🙂 Like us, they also got interviewed during the event.
The news reports including the interviews came out later that day. The person from GMA who contacted me texted me that the video coverage was already being aired. I wasn’t able to catch it on the television but it was now available online. You can watch the video of the interview from here.
The lunar eclipse was the talk of the town during the whole day. Eclipse pictures, videos and articles flooded the Internet. Moreover, Google also featured the lunar eclipse that just took place through its regular Google Doodle. So if you happened to take a peek at your Google homepage last June 16, you should have seen a playable lunar eclipse photos, like the one below:
This “live” doodle showed a live feed of the lunar eclipse from images from robotic telescope service Slooh. During the eclipse, visitors to Google.com can see a dial at the bottom of the image moving left to right, going through the various stages of the eclipse, before settling on the current feed.
On the other hand, clicking on the doodle will take you to the top search results about the 16 June Total Lunar Eclipse. Some friends told me that the link to my blog about the visible eclipses in the Philippines in 2011 was on the 4th spot. 🙂 And indeed, I got a lot of site visitors during that day. Thanks to all who dropped by and left their wonderful comments.
‘Til the next Total Lunar Eclipse on December. 🙂 Ad astra!
A marvelous apparition of a blood-colored or deep red Moon stunned a lot of Philippine sky viewers during the Total Lunar Eclipse last June 16, 2011. The totality time lasted for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
At the time of the totality – when the Moon passes through the Earth’s umbral shadow – the entire disk of the Moon turns vibrant red. The Earth’s atmosphere which acts like a filtered lens bends red sunlight into our planet’s shadow and scatters out blue light. It’s the same reason why sunrises and sunsets appear reddish. If Earth had no atmosphere, its shadow would be pitch black and the eclipsed moon would be invisible.
According to some astronomers, this eclipse was the darkest lunar eclipse in almost 100 years because the centers of the sun, the earth and the moon were nearly be on one straight line.
I’m still editing the other eclipse photos. Will post the rest of them including my observation report soon. 🙂
This photo was taken from the very nice Seven Suites Hotel Observatory in Antipolo.
Camera used was Nikon D3000 (48mm, f/5.6, 30-sec exp. at ISO 200)
* * * *
A Tip on Lunar Photography:
As you can observe, the image was a bit out-of-focused. I had a hard time focusing on the Moon as subject during that time because I didn’t have a good telephoto lens that could’ve made the Moon appear clearer and larger. Telephoto lenses are well-designed for photographing distant subjects like the Moon. However, those are very expensive. Wide angle lenses used in landscape photography such as this makes the moon look even smaller than how you had visualized it in the scene.