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.
Copernicus and Eratosthenes, and Carpathian mountains. Also visible in this picture are the craters Reinhold and Fauth. These are visible above and to the left of Copernicus. Reinhold is the upper crater.
The image was captured on 2011-04-12 during early evening (19:30), whilst the Moon was between Leo and Gemini.
SPX 250, 10″ F4.8 Orion Optics Newtonian, with a X2 barlow and a QHY5 camera, with a deep red W25 filter.
Paul writes “I have noticed how the seeing appears to be more stable, during the last hour before Sunset.”
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.”
The final issue of the BAA Lunar Section’s magazine “The New Moon” (TNM) is available online now.
The New Moon is produced by the Topographical Sub-section of the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association and makes an appearance twice every year. It contains articles about the Moon and its observation and features lunar images and observational drawings.
The first issue was published more than a quarter of a century ago, back in May 1982, and the latest edition will be the final one, to be replaced by a new annual bulletin “The Moon: Notes and Records of the BAA Lunar Section”, the first issue of which will appear next year.
Bill Leatherbarrow, BAA Lunar Section Director says: “TNM has served the Section well for over a quarter of a century, but it was becoming difficult to separate its function from that of the enlarged monthly Circular, which now publishes the majority of the current observations submitted to the Section.
There will be more about the new bulletin in a forthcoming LSC, but in the meantime I would like to thank Peter Grego on behalf of the Section for the fine work that he has put into producing TNM over the past few years. His skills are now deployed on the monthly LSC, but we shall also draw upon his experience and expertise as an editorial advisor to “The Moon”.”
The image above, from the cover of the final issue of The New Moon, features a classic observation by one of the
BAA Lunar Section’s finest — the late Harold Hill, whose lunar observational work serves as a source of inspiration to a new generation of amateur astronomers and remains a valuable source of reference to visual observers. The observation featured in The New Moon, Vol. 1, No. 4, p124
In existence since 1890, the BAA Lunar Section is as old as the British Astronomical Association itself. Its roots actually go back further in time to the short-lived but highly energetic Selenographical Society (1878-82), many of whose members were leading lights in lunar research during the late Victorian and Edwardian era.
The BAA Lunar Section aims to increase our knowledge of the Moon through visual observation, sketching and imaging. Regular, careful observation familiarises the observer with the intricacies of the lunar landscape, enhancing the observer’s skills of perception and possibly bringing to light previously unknown albedo and topographic features.
There is much that the keen amateur astronomer can observe on the moon. For example, short-lived events — coloured glows, flashes and obscurations known as transient lunar phenomena (TLP) — remain poorly understood, and so provide ample opportunity for specialised observing and imaging. CCD imaging provides accurate high resolution views and opens up further lines of observing and imaging research. Occultation studies form another branch of the section’s many activities.
The BAA Lunar Section website is a treasure-trove of information on the Moon: from the monthly Lunar Section Circular (archives of which are available for download); to the biannual journal, “The Moon: Notes and Records of the BAA Lunar Section” (previously “The New Moon”, archives of which are also available for download); to Peter Grego’s amazingly detailed hand-drawn Observer’s Map of the Moon.
The director of the BAA Lunar Section is Bill Leatherbarrow, and the website contains a who’s who of the other members.
Here is a wonderful short Pathe news clip from 1953 about BAA Lunar Section member Percy Wilkins.