I observed the eclipse from the end of the umbral phase when you could start to see some limb darkening through to the middle of totality. There were three of us to start with, myself, my better half and a mate, but since I set the telescope up in the driveway we soon had a collection of passers by having a look through the telescope and the binoculars and we wowed a few of the more interested ones with a quick glance of Saturn. One of our neighbors came round for a few looks and brought us some beers as a thank you (cheers Michael, much appreciated). All in all it was a good observing session and the things that we noticed were:

  • That there was a blue tint on the edge of the umbral shadow
  • That even during maximum eclipse the moon wasn’t very red, more orange
  • That even during maximum eclipse we could easily make out the larger seas with the naked eye, with binoculars loads of surface features were easily visible, and with the telescope even lunar rays were easy to see.
  • The top edge of the moon was always that bit less dark than the rest.

This would lead me to the conclusion that this eclipse was at point 4 on the Danjon scale, i.e. the least dark kind of lunar eclipse. The fact that the earth didn’t pass through the center of the Moon’s shadow probably played a part in this as did the fact that we’ve had no major volcanic activity recently.

All in all it was a great nights observing with no real weather problems, we had the occasional whisp of high cloud but they passed by very quickly. The most important thing was that a good night was had by all.

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Astro2 held an observing session along with the Physics department for today’s partial solar eclipse. They had a nice array of Telescopes there, two set up to project an image onto screens and then a PST for observing the Sun directly in H-alpha. I was technically at work so I couldn’t stay for the whole eclipse but coffee time coincided nicely with maximum eclipse so I got to see about 20 minutes starting just after maximum. The view in the PST was spectacular, some lovely prominences and also two small sunspots near the eclipsed bit of the moon.

Myself and another colleague watched a live webcast from Turkey from work for a few minutes either side of totality. It was no where near as impressive as actually being there but it was still nice to do something for the eclipse.

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