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Total Lunar Eclipse

By on in Observations

173 words, estimated reading time 1 minutes.

At 8:18 pm the Earth passed between the Sun and the Moon creating the first Total Lunar Eclipse for three years and surprisingly the skies stayed perfectly clear!

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Sun and the Moon. At totality, the only light reaching the Moon has been refracted by the Earth's atmosphere which causes the Moon to shine in a deep copper colour. This deep red colour is caused by light absorbed and reflected by the atmosphere - the same as when you get a red sky at night. Fred Espenak has a great article on the science of a total lunar eclipse on his website if you want to know more.

This was my first total lunar eclipse, so I was a little unsure what to expect. Like any other eclipse, the event started with a small chunk taken out of the edge of the Moon which slowly grew to cover the entire surface. It wasn't as eery as a solar eclipse, but a copper-red moon was different.

You can see my pictures of the event in my lunar eclipse gallery. The next eclipse from the UK is on the 21st of February 2008.

Last updated on: Tuesday 16th January 2018

 

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