Monday, 20 December 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse!

It seems that we are about to experience the first total lunar eclipse that coincides with the Winter Solstice for almost 400 years. BBC Radio Lancashire has been telling listeners about the total eclipse of the moon tomorrow morning. I think we will see some of it here in Lancashire - a partial but not total eclipse. Evidently, the event causes the moon to turn red. According to John Mason of the British Astronomical Association:

'Observers should go out at about 6.30am when, if the sky is clear, the moon will be visible in the western sky, and they will be able to watch as more and more of the southern part of the moon becomes immersed in the Earth's shadow.

They can continue watching until the eclipse becomes total at 7.40am, and hopefully for a little while after this time, if they have an unobstructed western horizon. The brightness of the eclipse depends on the conditions in the Earth's upper atmosphere through which all light falling on to the shadowed moon has to pass.

For observers in the British Isles, the very low elevation of the moon during the total phase means that it is not possible to predict just how dark the moon will be when it is eclipsed, or what colour it will appear. One will just have to go out and have a look.'

To find out more, click here and here. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion about the second link!

This is the hazy moon shining on Longridge this evening. Yes, I know it isn't that clear, but that is the effect of the extreme cold down here on Earth. Besides, it is many thousands of miles away! 


  1. Hi Laurie, I'm a little bit slow sometimes, as you know well by now, am just figuring out that you have this other blog...

    Am wondering whether the full moon and the eclipse of said moon will be visible at all... weather is predicting rain and snow for the next three days here... ! Enough already...

    Happy holidays...

  2. Thanks for following, Owen. The weather in Longridge is very clear at present - 0400 - but cold enough to wake me up! Hope it clears enough for you to see it.