¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for September 13 to 19, 2015
Get ready for a total lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015. Western Asia, most of Africa, and a lot of Europe will see part of the eclipse before the moon sets on the morning of the 28th.
Western Africa, western Europe, all of South America, and eastern North America can see all of the eclipse. In the Americas, the eclipse will actually start on the evening of the 27th.
Western North America and quite a lot of places in the Pacific Ocean will see the eclipse already in progress as the moon rises.
The very beginning of the eclipse is at 0:12 Universal Time. That’s when the moon enters Earth’s penumbra—the outer part of our planet’s shadow. For most people, that’s the least interesting part of the eclipse. The earth only partially blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. There’s still so much sunlight shining on the moon, you probably can’t tell anything’s different.
But at 01:07, your doubt is gone. A dark patch appears on one side of the moon. As the minutes go by, it gets bigger. That’s the part of the moon that has entered the umbra—the darkest ...