Lunar Eclipse coming January 20th!

October 8, 2014 Lunar Eclipse, photo by David Marvin

On Sunday night we have a chance to see the last total lunar eclipse until May 26, 2021! EarthSky shares information about viewing the lunar eclipse:

On January 20-21, we’ll have the first full moon of 2019, and the first lunar eclipse of 2019 (and this is an eclipse-heavy year, with three solar and two lunar eclipses). It can be viewed from North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern and western Africa, plus the Arctic region of the globe. More details – and eclipse times for North America, plus links for those elsewhere – below.

The eclipse will happen on the night of the year’s first of three straight full supermoons, meaning the moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for this January, as the eclipse takes place.

The January 20-21 total eclipse of the moon lasts for somewhat more than one hour. It’s preceded and followed by a partial umbral eclipse, each time persisting for over an hour. The whole umbral eclipse from start to finish has a duration of nearly 3 1/3 hours.

Additionally, a penumbral lunar eclipse takes place before and after the umbral lunar eclipse. However, a penumbral lunar eclipse is so faint that many people won’t even notice it while it is happening. In our post, we only give the times of the moon passing through the Earth’s umbra – dark, cone-shaped shadow.

The lunar disk often exhibits a coppery color during a total lunar eclipse. Although the moon is completely immersed in the Earth’s dark shadow, the Earth’s atmosphere refracts (or bends) sunlight and the longer wavelengths of light (red and orange) pass onward to fall on the moon’s face. The dispersed light from all of the world’s sunrises and sunsets softly illuminates the totally eclipsed moon. Actually, if you were on the moon, looking back on Earth, you’d see a total eclipse of the sun.

They note that the partial umbral eclipse begins at (roughly) 10:34 PM with the total eclipse starting at 11:41 PM. The greatest eclipse is at 12:12 AM with the total eclipse ending at 12:43 AM.

David took this photo in October of 2014. Check it out background bigilicious on Flickr and head over to his Marvin’s Gardens blog for more pics from the eclipse & David!

Watching the August 21st solar eclipse in Michigan

The solar eclipse will be visible in Michigan on Monday, Aug 21, 2017 so in the interests of maximal eclipse enjoyment, I’m publishing this special Sunday Michigan in Pictures!

Solar Eclipse May 21st 2012, photo by John Kennedy

The brighter stars and the planets come out. Animals change their behavior. Birds and squirrels nest. Cows return to the barn. Crickets chirp. There is a noticeable drop in both light level and air temperature. It is an eerie feeling. Totality can last for no more than about seven and a half minutes but is usually less than three minutes long.
-National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tomorrow is the day for the total eclipse, although in Michigan we will see only 70-80% of the sun eclipsed by the moon (less as you move northward) it’s still a rare opportunity. Here’s times for a range of Michigan locations:

NASA’s Eclipse 2017 website is definitely the place to go for all of your eclipse watching & info needs. In addition to the NASA Goddard Instagram feed and an Eclipse 2017 Flickr group where you can share photos from the eclipse with people from all over, there’s…

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in John’s Scenery slideshow.

Super Blood Moon Eclipse

Super Blood Moon Eclipse

Super Blood Moon 09/27/2015, photo by Alex Thorpe

While clouds marred much of this rare total eclipse of a perigee moon aka super moon, there were places & times that worked.

Check out this gallery of eclipse photos from Fox 17 viewers and definitely share yours and others you find on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!

View Alex’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow. It looks like he got a little hint of the northern lights in the long exposure too!

More eclipses on Michigan in Pictures!

Harvest Moon Eclipse Sunday Night

Harvest Moon over Michigan Cornfield

Harvest Moon over Cornfield, photo by Kevin

NASA Science reminds us that this Sunday night (Sep 27) and into the early hours of Monday, the full Harvest Moon will glide through the shadow of Earth, turning the Harvest Moon a golden-red color akin to autumn leaves:

The action begins at 9:07 PM Eastern Time on the evening of Sept 27th when the edge of the Moon first enters the amber core of Earth’s shadow. For the next three hours and 18 minutes, Earth’s shadow will move across the lunar disk.

Totality begins at 10:11 PM Eastern Time. That’s when the Moon is completely enveloped by the shadow of our planet. Totality lasts for an hour and 12 minutes so there is plenty of time to soak up the suddenly-red moonlight.

The reason the Moon turns red may be found on the surface of the Moon itself. Using your imagination, fly to the Moon and stand inside a dusty lunar crater. Look up. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside facing you, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.

You might suppose that the Earth overhead would be completely dark. After all, you’re looking at the nightside of our planet. Instead, something amazing happens. When the sun is located directly behind Earth, the rim of the planet seems to catch fire! The darkened terrestrial disk is ringed by every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all at once. This light filters into the heart of Earth’s shadow, suffusing it with a coppery glow.

Click through for more including a video Science Cast of how it all works.

Kevin is the go-to moon-and-astronomy guy on Michigan in Pictures, delivering great photos and info. He shares this about the Harvest Moon:

The “Harvest Moon” is the name traditionally given to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal (fall) equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) once or twice a decade it will fall in early October. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon.

At this time of the year also occurs the “Harvest Moon Effect”. Usually the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice are now ready for gathering.

View his photo bigger and see more of moon photos including this cool one of the harvest moon over Grand Rapids taken a little earlier in his The Moon slideshow.

There’s more about the Harvest moon and more eclipses on Michigan in Pictures!

Lunar Eclipse at the Penobscot

Lunar Eclipse at the Penobscot

Lunar Eclipse at the Penobscot, photo by Tom Hughes

Sorry that I missed highlighting last weekend’s eclipse. Please accept Tom’s photo as a substitute!

View it bigger on Flickr and see more in his Detroit slideshow.

 

The Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014

Solar Eclipse - October 23, 2014

Solar Eclipse – October 23, 2014, photo by David Marvin

Although the clouds didn’t want to cooperate, David got a few shots of yesterday’s solar eclipse. See this one background big and click to his slideshow for more.

More eclipse photos on Michigan in Pictures. And speaking of eclipses, check out this awesome time lapse of the October 8 Blood Moon eclipse by Central Michigan University astronomy prof Axel Mellinger!

Photos of the Tax Day Eclipse in Michigan

Tax Day Eclipse by Kevins Stuff

Tax Day Eclipse, photo by Kevin

Here in Traverse City, the weather thoughtfully brought us snow because, well, April, amiright? Thankfully, others were not so unfortunate. If Michigan in Pictures had a house astronomer, it would certainly be Kevin, and thankfully he wasn’t so unlucky. He writes:

The full moon of April lies fully eclipsed in the Earth’s shadow on a cold & snowy April morning in West Michigan.

The Full Moon of April is called the “Full Pink Moon”. The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. This year it is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season.

About the image…

I had been waiting for this eclipse for a while, having seen my last one in 2008. Unfortunately it didn’t look like the weather was going to cooperate. The day before we had temperatures in the high 60’s with rain and thunderstorms, and the cold front went through Monday morning and dropped the temps into the 30’s. And then it started snowing in the afternoon.

I remained cautiously optimistic, and around 2.30am I could just barely see the moon through the clouds. I took a chance, packed up my cameras, and headed east to my astronomy club’s observatory. When I got there, it was completely cloudy, but I went up and opened the dome and attached my camera to one of the telescopes anyway.

Totality began just after 3.00am, and suddenly about 10 minutes later the clouds parted – I could easily seen the eclipsed moon, the star Spica nearby, and the planet Mars off to the right. I immediately started shooting, and took images at intervals – especially around mid-totality – until the clouds came in around 4.15am. That was fine, as totality ended about 10 minutes later.

I closed up, packed up, and went home. Images downloaded to the computer, quickly scanned for good ones, and here is one of the best. I’ve got a few wide-field ones I’ll put up later.

View Kevin’s photo bigger and see more in his Lunar Eclipse – April 15, 2014 set and in his massive Astronomy slideshow.

More eclipses and more on the moon at Michigan in Pictures. We’ll add links in the comments when we find more media about last night’s total eclipse.