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Early Morning Lunar Eclipse...

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:42 am
by Astrocomet
I was up just before 06.00 U.T (Astronomical Twilight @ 05.54 UT) to see this one-already in its Penumbral Phase (P1 occuring @ 05.27 UT) the first Umbral contact occuring @ 06.30 UT.

A more conspicuous darking of the Moon started to show after U1 @ 06.30 as the Moon gradually lowered to the North Western Horizon and after a while the Sky started to brighten in the East with Civil Twilight occuring @ 07.20 UT.

A bright silvery Venus was dominating the South Eastern Twilight Morning Sky, The Moon faded in and out of dark clouds low on the North Western Horizon as the shadow of the Earth gradually moved across the face of the Moon low in the North West, Sunrise occured @ 08.01 UT and Moonset occured @ 08.09 UT, 7 minutes after this was mid Eclipse @ 08.16 UT of which I was frozen standing around watching thick clouds build from the East so I came indoors and had a good hot cup of tea to warm up a bit.

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:07 am
by mike a feist
I had good view of the UNECLIPSED Moon at around 0530 but at 0630 onwards NOTHING was visible in the NW..........althought Venus was often seen shining brightly in the South.
I had more or less given it up as a "no-no" before going to bed, but on waking, saw some clear sky which sucked me into thinking that there was a chance!
Typical Lunar Eclipse as was the very first one I tried to observe with a Naval Telerscope as a school-boy. and an early-morning one that occured one year on the 29th birthday!!!!!...and others too! maf

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:26 am
by jb1970
I got up at 6am to total cloud cover. Shame as I wanted to try and get some nics. No doubt somebody will post some.

All the best

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:43 am
by The Bat
Totally clouded out here :(


Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:49 am
by Astrocomet
The Bat wrote:Totally clouded out here :(

Was really cold standing around as well with a sharp Easterly wind blowing in from the North sea-its gotta snow again surely-I fear a white Christmas maybe not..... :roll:

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:28 am
by stella
Fair view of early stages of the eclipse, some drifting cloud.
It got too low to watch the later stages.

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:41 am
by andrew robertson
Well I played it cool, setting my alarm for 6.30am knowing I had a good view down to the horizon in the NW from my landing window. I didn't look out until 6.40 am having first got a cup of tea and was surprised to actually see it (used to British weather killing these events) with a substantial 'bite' already out of the moon. ':D' I decided to get my thermals on and go outside with my 7x50 bins. I was exceptionally lucky, initially I could see Venus and Saturn in the SE but cloud slowly crept across them in the direction of the moon. For the last 5 or 10 mins the moon was in thin cloud just a couple of degrees above the NW horizon. About 7.38am I could no longer see the thin edge unaided eye but could see it in my 7x50 bins. At 7.40 exactly it dissappeared - not sure if it was the last bit of shadow or a bit more cloud, probably both.

What I particularly enjoyed was noting the curve of the Earths shadow. I was trying to judge the half way point but couldn't as there was no straight edge. Ditto when it was a crescent it just didn't look quite right to the n/e - of course the crescent didn't extend as far around as a normal crescent moon and the inner curve wasn't right. To a casual observer it must have just looked like a normal half or crescent moon. Because it was so low down the part in shadow just looked grey like earth shine, you could see a slight coppery effect if you looked carefully but in the bins the coppery colour was obvious. Also unlike a normal half moon the terminator wasn't as well defined, you could see the effects of the penumbra extending across the surface such that the right hand edge was clearly the brightest part. Astronomy and celestial mechanics in real time - wonderful stuff.


Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:12 pm
by Dave Mitsky
Well, a third of an eclipse is better than none I suppose.

My location for observing the Solstice Eclipse was the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg's Naylor Observatory. One other ASH member was also there. The sky was quite clear for the start of the penumbral eclipse. Totality occurred and things were still looking good.

However, shortly thereafter clouds began to move in and before long the sky was completely overcast, except for a few very brief sucker holes. I took a number of afocal and prime focus shots using a Canon PowerShot SD980 IS digital camera and a Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR respectively through my 101mm f.5.4 Tele Vue refractor and two other telescopes and did a few crater timings but never had a chance to do any wide-field photography. I had also hoped to have a look at the recent storm on Saturn at some point, assuming that it was facing the Earth at the time.

What I saw of the eclipse was through my 8x42 and 15x70 binoculars, my Tele Vue Petzval refractor, a 5" f/5 achromatic refractor, a 14" f/11 Celestron C14 SCT, and the ASH 17 f/15 classical Cassegrain. The Moon and M35 were in the same field of view with the 8x42s. M37 was a bit more than one field of view from the eclipsed Moon.

The Moon was definitely an amber hue to my eyes this time around. My companion, the current president of ASH, agreed. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said the same on the Today Show a few minutes ago.

I also looked at a few other deep-sky objects when the sky darkened, including M42, Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, the Double Cluster, and Melotte 20.

Dave Mitsky

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:44 pm
by Cumbrian
Waste of time here,nothing but cloud was looking forward to this has well.Cumbrian

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:42 pm
by Brian
Dark as black hogs all day here. Didn't see the Sun, let alone the Moon :(

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:54 pm
by PaulB
Brian wrote:Dark as black hogs all day here. Didn't see the Sun, let alone the Moon :(

Today's TLE was as I had jokingly predicted in the Pub last Saturday.

I was very disappointed to see at 06:00 hrs total cloud cover where the Moon was. And sadly this was the case all through the eclipse.

I wonder if the weather will be kinder on January 4th, when we have a partial Solar eclipse.

Happy Winter Solstice.

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:14 pm
by Astrocomet
Talking about cloud cover for this year I have noticed there has only been a few clear nights to Observe this year-you could probably count them on the fingers of both hands-there seem to have been a lot of cloud cover for 2010-is it increasing over the years because 2009 was just as bad?

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:29 pm
by Ender Of Days
I woke at 6.00am and got dressed (lots of layers) however I stayed in the loft (with a cup of hot chocolate) and opened the window,
The thermometer said it was -7.8c and it was pretty evident at the time !,
The moon was visible right up to 1 minute before Totality where it'd passed behind a tree and dropped into the icy mist and cloud,

So at least I saw the first half :roll: :D

There was a few Live clips on the news during the first half as well,

Can't wait for the next one,


Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:31 am
by Astrocomet
Ender Of Days wrote:Can't wait for the next one,

The next total Lunar Eclipse is this one:

Rises in Mid Eclipse.

And this one that rises just after Mid Eclipse:

This one will be the next total Lunar Eclipse to all be seen from the U.K:

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:39 am
by astroeddie
Here in Hartlepool it was crystal clear.
I watched until 0754, when it set behind a house up the bank. Colouration was great. Orange Ocra(Spelling). First looked out at 0645, around 35% was in the Penumbra, a very dark " Pacman face".

At the time of my loosing sight of the moon , it looked around 95% Eclipsed to th Mk1 eyeball.
Aswell as the eclipse, Venus was mega bright towards the South