13Sep2016

Penumbral Lunar eclipse For Australia

Image result for penumbral lunar eclipse

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon, visible from Sydney in the western sky. The eclipse will last from 02:55 until 06:54, and maximum eclipse will occur at 04:55 (all times given in Sydney time).

A penumbral eclipse

The Moon will lie 13° above the horizon at the moment of greatest eclipse. Might be a good idea to grab a few good good shots. Like other lunar eclipses, penumbral eclipses occur whenever the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun, such that it obscures the Sun’s light and casts a shadow onto the Moon’s surface.

But unlike other kinds of eclipses, they are extremely subtle events to observe. In a penumbral eclipse the Moon passes through an outer region of the Earth’s shadow called the penumbra.

lunar-capture

[Compass] Below the horizon [Moon] Simulation of how the eclipse will appear from Sydney.

In this outer part of the Earth’s shadow, an observer on the Moon would see the Sun partially obscuring the Sun’s disk, but not completely covering it. As a result the Moon’s brightness will begin to dim, as it is less strongly illuminated by the Sun, but it remains illuminated.

Although the Moon’s light dims considerably during a penumbral eclipse, this is only perceptible to those with very astute vision, or in carefully controlled photographs.This is a rare occasion when the whole of the Moon’s face will pass within the Earth’s penumbra, and so the reduction of the Moon’s brightness will be more perceptible than usual.

The geometry of a lunar eclipse

The geometry of a lunar eclipse. Image courtesy of F. Sogumo.

Such events are called total penumbral lunar eclipses, and are rare because the statistical chance that the Moon will enter the Earth’s umbra at some point is very high once it has passed fully within its penumbra, and this makes an eclipse a partial lunar eclipse.

Visibility of the eclipse

Eclipses of the Moon are visible anywhere where the Moon is above the horizon at the time. Since the geometry of lunar eclipses requires that the Moon is directly opposite the Sun in the sky, the Moon can be seen above the horizon anywhere where the Sun is beneath the horizon.

The map below shows where the eclipse of September 17 will be visible. Adapted: In The Sky.org

Map of where the eclipse of September 2016 will be visible.

Map of where the eclipse of September 2016 will be visible. Click here to expand.

 

 

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