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)
I noticed that most of my frequent visitors were searching for the eclipses in the Philippines for 2011. Well then folks, I have listed below the eclipses that could be observed in the Philippines throughout the year. 🙂
Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses will take place in 2011 but only the lunar eclipses will be visible in the Philippines. These two are both total lunar eclipses which means that during these events, we can actually see the entire disk of the Moon being covered by the Earth’s umbra — thus we can observe a nice Reddish Moon.
Total lunar eclipses are pretty rare events so be sure to plan your observation ahead of time and make the most out of this astronomical experience. (In the Philippines, the last one happened during May 5, 2004)
June 15 Total Lunar Eclipse
It will be visible completely over Africa, and Central Asia, visible rising over South America, western Africa, and Europe, and setting over eastern Asia. In western Asia, Australia and the Philippines, the lunar eclipse will be visible just before sunrise on June 16. (View NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
|Moon Enters Penumbra||01:24:27am||45 deg||212 deg S|
|Moon Enters Umbra||02:22:57am||37 deg||225 deg S|
|Moon Enters Totality||03:22:29am||26 deg||234 deg SW|
|Maximum Totality||04:13:44am||16 deg||240 deg SW|
|Moon Exits Totality||05:02:42am||06 deg||244 deg SW|
|Moonset||05:30:00am||00 deg||246 deg SW|
|Moon Exits Umbra (not visible)||06:02:14am||———-||———–|
|Moon Exits Penumbra (not visible)||07:00:41am||———-||———–|
|*The indicated times above are on June 16.|
|*Sunrise is at 05:26 AM.|
According to the ALP, “this eclipse is particularly special because the Moon passes almost exactly in front of the center of the Earth’s shadow during totality phase thus giving us local viewers in the Philippines a long totality time of around 100 minutes” (1 hr 40 mins) .
December 10 Total Lunar Eclipse
This eclipse will be visible from all of Asia and Australia, seen as rising over eastern Europe, and setting over northwest North America. (View NASA Eclipse Information)
Contact Times : (All in PHT= UT +8)
|Moon Enters Penumbra||19:33:36||31 deg||72 deg|
|Moon Enters Umbra||20:45:43||59 deg||72 deg|
|Moon Enters Totality||22:06:16||64 deg||67 deg|
|Maximum Totality||22:31:49||69 deg||63 deg|
|Moon Exits Totality||22:57:24||75 deg||55 deg|
|Moon Exits Umbra||00:17:58||79 deg||321 deg|
|Moon Exits Penumbra||01:29:57||65 deg||292 deg|
|Note: All eclipse stages are visible in the Philippines. 😀|
Because I got too excited for this, I created a video simulation of the entire eclipse using Stellarium. The Moon is at the constellation Taurus during this event.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, there is always a full moon the night of a lunar eclipse.
Unlike observing solar eclipses wherein you need adequate eye protection, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye. 🙂
- NASA Eclipse Website
- Stellarium Planetarium software
- ALP Website