Lunar Eclipse

Well this seems like a suitable first post. Over the last few days we’ve been hoping for clear skies tonight. Why? Because a lunar eclipse was due to occur. This is when the earth passes between the sun & the moon. They don’t happen at every full moon because the moon’s orbit is tilted and so a perfect alignment only occurs every couple of years or so.

This evening was looking like being a cloudy let down but we hoped for clearer conditions and they duly arrived.

10-27pm 3rd March

Gradually the shadow of the earth crept up over the moon, as the picture above shows.

As time went on we were dogged by clouds but we all sat outside and persevered. 11-21pm was the time that totality was predicted for, but there’s some leeway with lunar eclipses and our patience was rewarded by the following beautiful clear view.

11-34pm 3rd March

As you can see, the shadow cast by Earth creates a red hue over the whole moon, which is now very much darker than normal. Those of you with sharp eyes will have noticed two stars next to the moon. Both are in the constellation of Leo, the brighter one being cLeo Magnitude 5 @ 150 light-years and the other is 56Leo Magnitude 5.93 @ 325 light-years.

As with all things, time marches on and as the eclipse passes, the earth’s shadow drifts off the moon, as shown below:

12-50am 4th March

And so an evening of fun came to a close. I think Tamsin will need a sleep in tomorrow morning J

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