This coming Wednesday evening, on 15 June, there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. From southern parts of the UK, the Moon will rise totally eclipsed, and the majority of the second half of the total phase will be visible, provided observers have a clear, unobstructed south-eastern horizon. Sadly, from locations further north, with moonrise occurring later in the evening, most of the total phase will be over before the Moon rises; those in northern Scotland will miss totality entirely. Indeed, observers throughout Europe will miss the early stages of the eclipse because they occur before moonrise.
The Moon first enters the outer, penumbral part of the Earth’s shadow at 17:25 UT, and the partial eclipse begins at 18:23 UT. The eclipse first becomes total at 19:23 UT, reaches maximum at 20:13 UT, and ends at 21:03 UT. The partial eclipse ends at 22:02 UT and the penumbral phase at 23:01 UT.
You will need to add an hour to all UT times given here to obtain BST.
Damian Peach took this image of the Atlas and Hercules craters on 2011 May 10 at 19:44UT from Selsey, West Sussex, UK.
This Friday, April 15, between 19:00 and 21:00 UT, the Aristarchus and Herodotus area of the Moon will match the same illumination, to within +/- 0.5 degrees, as that observed during the famous Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP) seen by Greenacre and Barr from Flagstaff observatory back on 1963 Oct 30. The BAA Lunar Section would welcome any high resolution monochrome, or especially colour, images of this area during this time period. Such observations would be very helpful so that
the Lunar Section can test out the ‘atmospheric spectral dispersion’ theory, proposed by Sheehan and Dobbins (Sky & Telescope, 1999), or to see if natural surface colour could explain some of the colours seen back in 1963. Observations should be emailed to the Lunar Section Assistant Director Dr Tony Cook on: email@example.com
If you are interested in trying to resolve other past historical lunar mysteries, by observing under the same illumination conditions, then these can be found listed for different geographical sites across the world on: http://users.aber.ac.uk/atc/tlp/tlp.htm and are suitable for both visual and imaging- capable observers.
BAA Lunar Section
Image by Alex Pratt.
“The attached image was taken on the night before the recent Full Moon. I chose that evening because the following night it would be lower in the sky and the weather forecast was unfavourable.
The image is a mosaic of 16 webcam sessions, each centred on the sections of the Moon in Henry Hatfield’s Photographic Lunar Atlas. Seeing was Antoniadi III at best, which was disappointing.
Colour saturation was applied to enhance the lunar features, especially the maria. The resultant webcam images were stitched together into a mosaic and further slight processing was done to sharpen the image, increase contrast and colour saturation.
It was a lot of work. I’ve no plans to repeat this exercise, but I will take further images of selected areas, such as Mare Tranquillitatis, which seems to have a very mottled nature.”