Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

Posts tagged “december 10 total lunar eclipse

December 10, 2011 Total Lunar Eclipse

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.

First sight of the moon at 10:22 pm
After a short while, the clouds began to move away and we had a clear view.
Moon at totality

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.

Orion and the Red Moon at 10:56 pm
Moon exits totality. Image taken at 11:09 pm
Moon at 11:27 pm. Only half of the moon’s disk lies within the umbra.
Moon at 11:51 pm. A 22 degree lunar halo formed around the moon just before it exited the umbral eclipse phase.

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:

Image courtesy of Bea Banzuela

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)
To the stars! 🙂

Eclipses Visible in the Philippines During 2011

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.

Geometry of a Lunar Eclipse

Photo of the Dec. 20 total lunar eclipse from Cochranville, Pa. taken by Kevin R. Witman, using a Meade LX50 10" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and a Canon XS DSLR camera.

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)

Enjoy! 🙂

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)

June 15, 2011 Eclipse Chart: The moon passes right to left through the Earth's shadow.

View the eclipse animation

Below are the complete eclipse circumstances as well as predicted times of each eclipse phase (in PHT or UT+8) computed by Fred Espenak of NASA. Altitude and azimuth approximations were provided by the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP).
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) .

The Moon will be located in the constellation Ophiuchus during this eclipse. Click to enlarge image.


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)

December 10, 2011 Eclipse Chart: The moon passes right to left through the Earth's shadow.

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.

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. 🙂