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BAA Journal 2015 December

The total eclipse of the Moon, 2015 September 28

Journal issue: 2015 December
Pages: 329–329

This was the most significant lunar eclipse since 2008 for observers in the UK. It was also visible in Western Europe, as well as from parts of North and South America and West Africa. Conditions were generally good for most observers, and innumerable images have appeared in the press and on internet forums. Even the UK appears to have enjoyed reasonably clear weather, and the event was widely reported and recorded by BAA members – indeed, it was possibly the most imaged lunar eclipse ever!

(Montage by Jamie Cooper)

From the Director’s location in Sheffield the leading edge of the umbral shadow was grey in colour, but the following shadow was copper-coloured and quite dark. Nevertheless, major surface features (e.g. Tycho, Plato, Sinus Iridum and Aristarchus) remained visible throughout as seen through an 80mm ED refractor and a 300mm OMC.
During totality the Moon appeared three-dimensional in its star field at low powers through the 80mm OG - a stunning sight perfectly caught in the image submitted by Damian Peach.
Most observers reported the colour of the umbra during totality as copper-grey, with the southern limb much brighter. For a time around mid-eclipse the Director found that the copper colour almost disappeared and the eclipsed Moon appeared grey. Overall, most saw this as a moderately dark eclipse, with the reddish colours rather subdued. Taking submitted reports into consideration, it was probably around II on the Danjon scale (although estimates of intensity and colour are notoriously subjective).
Constraints of space, along with the large number of observations received, mean that we can reproduce here only a small selection. However, all observations submitted have been archived and are much appreciated.
Bill Leatherbarrow, Director, Lunar Section

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