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The second full Moon in a month is referred to as a “blue Moon” and January 31 we’ll see the second full Moon of January 2018. But we will see that blue moon turn red on the 31st with the first total lunar eclipse in 2 ½ years. People on the West Coast will have a front row seat as the eclipse begins at 2:49 AM PST. Midtotality occurs at 5:29 and the eclipse ends at 8:10 AM.
Bryan Kelso took these three photos of the eclipse on 27 September at our SCC Observatory site with a DSLR & 300mm lens. Only a few weeks left to get your astrophotos in for the Bill Iden Astrophotography Contest. Entries must be in by the meeting on 13 November.
Regards, Charles Ennis
Last night’s lunar eclipse generated a LOT of interest in our Centre. Yesterday (Sunday, 27 September) 215 people visited our web site and viewed 536 web pages, a record. When I checked the site this morning (28 September) at 0930 hours we had already broken that record: 268 people visiting to make 540 views so far. When I checked the site Sunday morning we had about 8600 total views for 2015. Now we are at 9700 and still climbing. Most of the views were our home page and posts about the eclipse, as well as information on our Centre. I fielded several phone calls during the day from citizens looking for information on the eclipse.
We opened the observatory at 18:30 and a crowd soon developed. Coast Cable showed up to video tape the event, tour the observatory, and interview several people. We had about 100 visitors and several members set up their telescopes. We collected $54.25 in the donations jar. When the stars came out we had people lining up to see binary stars, star clusters, nebulas and galaxies while we waited for the eclipsed moon to rise above the trees on the east side of the airfield. Once it topped the trees we turned the big scope onto the moon, which was by that time starting to come out of the penumbral phase.
The crowd finally thinned out and by 22:30 we had shut down the observatory for the evening.
There will be a total lunar eclipse on 8 October 2014, but it will occur in the wee hours of the morning. Uranus, which is now at opposition, will be within 22 arc minutes of the moon about the time of the midtotality of the eclipse. The entire eclipse will be visible from Western Canada. Times in the table below are for Vancouver, BC:
Penumbral eclipse begins 1:15 AM
Partial eclipse begins 2:14 AM
Total eclipse begins 3:25 AM
Midtotality 3:55 AM
Total eclipse ends 4:24 AM
Partial eclipse ends 5:34 AM
Penumbral eclipse ends 6:33 AM