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

Posts tagged “eclipse

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. 🙂



Partial Lunar Eclipse in the Philippines on December 2010


Lunar Eclipse animation (from wikipedia.org)

A Total Lunar Eclipse will darken the Moon on December 21. The entire event will be visible from North America with areas to the east, such as South America, Europe, and western Africa, catching the eclipse during Moonset and areas to the west, such as Australia and eastern and northern Asia, seeing the event at Moonrise. Only southern and eastern Africa, the Middle East and India and surrounding countries will miss out on the eclipse entirely. The limb of the Moon begins to fall into the dark shadow of Earth at Dec. 21 6:32 a.m. UTC. The total stage, when the Moon is completely within Earth’s shadow, lasts for approximately 73 minutes, from 5:40 a.m. to 8:53 a.m. UT. During totality, the Moon can take on strange shades, from orange to red to violet, depending on the particulates in the atmosphere at different locations. The event is over by 10:02 a.m. UT.

Moon at 5:45 PM (Dec. 21) Alt/Azimuth: 2 deg. from the NE horizon / 65 deg. ~30% partiality (Manila, Philippines)

Philippine observers will have a chance to witness a Partial Lunar Eclipse at moonrise (5:31 PM) on Dec. 21, 2010. The major phases (visible to the Philippines) of the eclipse are as follows:

(All in PST= UT +8)
5:31 PM — Moonrise (~40-50% partiality, 65 degrees azimuth NE)
6:01 PM — Partial eclipse ends
7:04 PM — Penumbral eclipse ends (~5 deg. from the horizon)

Lunar eclipses are safe to watch and observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes. A pair of binocular will help magnify the view and will make the red coloration of the Moon brighter.

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon is full and passes exactly through the line connecting the Earth and the sun.


Note: Observing this eclipse is a challenge 😀 You need a very clear eastern horizon to see this (Moon will be just about 5 degrees above the horizon. The general rule amateur astronomers use is that the width of your fist from top to bottom held at arm’s length equals about 10 degrees.)

Weather forecast (Manila) for tomorrow: http://bit.ly/hKVxse (includes percent cloud cover, chance of precipitation, wind direction, etc.)

Let’s pray for clear skies 🙂


sources: Stellarium (planetarium software), PAGASA, timeanddate.com

*Percent partiality are only based on my estimations (using Stellarium).

Coincidences: This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter solstice. How rare is that? Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual. Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. “Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21,” says Chester. “Fortunately we won’t have to wait 372 years for the next one…that will be on 2094 DEC 21.” – SPACE.com

Winter Solstice in the Philippines however, will occur at 7:38 AM, Dec. 22, 2010 (according to PAGASA), which means that the partial lunar eclipse and the winter solstice will NOT happen on the same calendar date.

Nonetheless, astronomer Phil Plait (BadAstronomer) said that, “Technically, eclipse is same day as solstice, but it’s not significant. If you use GMT, all of eclipse is same day as solstice…but no one in GMT time zone will be able to see the eclipse!”

Related APOD: A Lunar Eclipse on Solstice Day

Eclipse circumstances on other parts of the globe: NASA Eclipse Website

Those who will not see the eclipse from their location can watch online thanks to Night Skies Network (NSN).

You can also get involved in the “Eclipses Without Borders“, another great project by Astronomers Without Borders (AWB).

Observation of the June 2010 Partial Lunar Eclipse

The partial lunar eclipse last June 26, 2010 was the first of two lunar eclipses in 2010.  At maximum eclipse, 53.7% of the moon was covered by the earth’s shadow. Full details of the eclipse can be found in from my previous blog post. I and two of my UP Astrosoc colleagues decided to observe this event and take images from Marikina City.

At first, we were anxious that we would not be able to observe the partial lunar eclipse due to the thick rain clouds covering the whole observation area. The sky was overcast that day and it started raining at around 7pm. Using Stellarium, I located the moon in the western sky, but the clouds blocked even the slightest trace of moonlight.

We decided to transfer to another location within the same area where we could get a better view. There were no objects that could be seen through the thick clouds anyway so we just spent our time looking for a nice spot to observe when the rain stopped. While walking past the street corner, we saw this house that had a two-leveled roof deck, ideal for our observation and high enough not to be blocked by any other building that surrounds it. It was a good place for observation, however we are too shy to approach the owner of that house.
Driven by our willingness to observe this rare phenomenon, we overcame our hesitation and went to that house. Fortunately, the owner of the house allowed us to use the top deck. We had our equipment then, so I think we somewhat looked sincere with our request.

As we went up to the deck, we saw a beautiful view of the city with those little lights from below which reminded me of the stars on a dark night. We began to set up our equipment and prepared for the appearance of Luna. After several minutes, it rained. We stayed under an umbrella and used the spare ones to protect our camera and laptop. We just stayed there to wait though a slight shadow of desperation was coming over us then. The rain just seemed to drag on and on and we were soon thinking of packing up our things and going home.

Luckily, after more than an hour of waiting in the rain while holding on to our hopes by praying, the skies began to clear up. Venus appeared in the west, and the moon finally showed itself to us with its upper part still covered by the umbra. We immediately used the binoculars to make sure that it was not just clouds covering the moon. It was a few minutes past 8pm then, and according to the predicted eclipse activity, the moon would still be eclipsed though we had already missed the maximum.

We took several photos at different settings. We needed to adjust our camera’s settings every now and then because the clouds were moving fast in front of the moon. There were even times when we needed to wait for minutes for the clouds to pass. Good thing that despite the little time left for us to take photos and the thick clouds, we were still able to get nice shots.

We left the place a little past 10pm, when the penumbral eclipse was about to end.

Unfortunately, were not able to witness the maximum eclipse because of the rain. Nevertheless, I still feel so blessed to have been able to take images of this event 😀

We will surely never forget this experience for it deepened our love for astronomy and the sky. We are now more inspired to do astro imaging for the next astronomical event.

Photo details: We took the photos using Canon PowerShot SX20

Post-processing was done using Registax V.5.1 to enhance the lunar features.

Location: Marikina City, Philippines

Coordinates: 14°38’20″N 121°7’32″E

We took this image while waiting for Luna to come out

Image of the eclipsed moon by Stellarium (It’s looks exactly the same as the image we took during the same time!)

Moon still at umbra