Monday, December 5, 2011

December 10, 2011 - Total Lunar Eclipse

This coming Saturday, December 10, 2011, we will experience the 2nd Total Lunar Eclipse visible to the Philippines this year (A timely astronomical event for those still watching breaking dawn..hehe).

Here is the Eclipse time table provided by Fred Espenak on the Astroleague of the Philippines site:
Eclipse Phases Time (PST) Altitude Azimuth
Moon enters Penumbra 07:33:32 pm 30 deg 72 deg E
Moon enters Umbra 08:45:42 pm 47 deg 72 deg E
Moon enters Totality 10:06:16 pm 64 deg 67 deg E
Maximum Totality 10:31:48 pm 70 deg 63 deg NE
Moon exits Totality 10:57:24 pm 75 deg 55 deg NE
Moon exits Umbra 12:17:58 am 80 deg 325 deg NW
Moon exits Penumbra 01:30:00 am 65 deg 294 deg NW

 The reddening effect of the moon during the total lunar eclipse happens when the Moon enters the umbra, or the darker shadow of the Earth. When this happens, light from the Sun reaching the moon is blocked completely by the Earth, however the atmosphere of Earth acts as a lens which bends light into its component parts (spectra). The light that is bent most is the red part of the spectrum, which also explains the red-orange hue of the sky during sunrise and sunset. In contrast, blue wavelengths are the easiest component of light that is scattered - hence the blue colored sky as particles in the air scatter the blue light.

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