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Early riser’s delight: The total lunar eclipse of 21st January 2019, the last visible from Northern Ireland for many years

14 Jan 2019, 11:35 UTC
Early riser’s delight: The total lunar eclipse of 21st January 2019, the last visible from Northern Ireland for many years
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As pointed out in Helen’s January edition of the Monthly Night Sky, if skies are clear on the morning of 21st January 2019, sky-watchers will witness a rare total eclipse of the Moon. This will be the last opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse from the British Isles for three-and-a-half years, until 16 May 2022. However, even on that occasion, as seen from Northern Ireland the Moon sets before the end of totality. Indeed, the next total lunar eclipse visible in its entirety from NI will not be until the year 2029.
For the 21st January eclipse, the timings of the different phases of the eclipse, explained in a previous Astronotes blog article by Emeritus Director Mark Bailey, will be as follows:

TIME ALTITUDE
EVENT (GMT) (FROM BELFAST)
PENUMBRAL PHASE BEGINS: 02:36 GMT 47 deg
UMBRAL OR PARTIAL PHASE BEGINS: 03:34 GMT 40 deg
TOTAL PHASE (TOTALITY) BEGINS: 04:41 GMT 31 deg
MID-TOTALITY: 05:12 GMT 27 deg
TOTALITY ENDS: 05:43 GMT 23 deg
PARTIAL PHASE ENDS: 06:51 GMT 13 deg
PENUMBRAL PHASE ENDS: 07:48 GMT 06 deg

The partial, or main, phase of the eclipse begins at 0334 GMT when the Moon ...

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