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Oct 8 Lunar eclipse October 1, 2014

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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Between the department move, classes starting, and Kensington Astronomy at the Beach, I’ve been a bit too busy for the urban observing posts. I’ve started October though, so hopefully I’ll have that up soon.  In the meantime, here’s a bit about the lunar eclipse on Oct 8.

The wonderful thing about lunar eclipses is that you can see it from anyplace where it’s night and clear during the eclipse. The interesting part of the eclipse will be 9:15 – 12:34 UT on October 8.

For Michigan, it will be visible just before dawn in the west-south-west. The noticeable part of the eclipse begins at 5:15 EDT. You’ll want to get out there early, because totality begins at 6:27, and the Moon will be dim enough that you may have trouble finding the Moon in the pre-dawn light. Mid eclipse is 6:55, and sunrise will be around 7:40. The Moon sets 7 minutes latter. To finds times for your location, check out  http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2014-october-8

A deeply eclipsed Moon is very difficult to see in the purple twilight.

Deepest eclipse occurs at 6:55 AM on October 8, when the Moon is about 8º above due west.

Usually, you don’t need anything be clear skies and darkness to see an eclipse. Dawn eclipses are a bit tricky though since the Moon disappears into the dawn light. A telescope that can track the Moon can be very helpful to keep the Moon in sight. If you don’t have that, a pair of binoculars can also help.

If you do have a telescope, swing it over to the eastern limb of the Moon. At 6 AM, Uranus will be just a bit north of due east and about 1º (or 2 Moon diameters) away. By 7AM it’s only half a degree and due east, but the sky will be starting to brighten (H/T Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar – I didn’t notice this conjunction!)

A partially eclipsed Moon and Uranus in a starry sky.

Uranus is about 1º off the eastern limb of the Moon at 6 AM. By 7 AM, it is only half a degree away but to the SE.

For more information on the eclipse, check out one of these:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/total-lunar-eclipse-09262014/
http://earthsky.org/tonight/total-lunar-eclipse-blood-moon-hunters-moon-october-7-8-2014
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1. Urban Observing October 2014 | Sideways Orion - October 6, 2014

[…] gets off to a great start with a lunar eclipse on the 8th. You can read my earlier post about it, or check out http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2014-october-8 to get details about […]


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