Monday, August 24, 2015

September 27-28 Total Lunar Eclipse in Eastern Time

September 2015 total lunar eclipse visible in eastern time
Eastern Daylight Times for 2015 September 27-28 total lunar eclipse visible from North America. Moon images are from the October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse and are only visual approximations of what to expect. Times converted to EDT from NASA eclipse information PDF.

The total lunar eclipse of September 28, 2015 occurs the night of Sept 27-28 in North America. The entire continental United States will get a view of the total eclipse. Out west, the moon will be entering the Earth's umbra (darkest shadow) while the moon is rising. Everyone east of Missouri will get to see the entire eclipse process from start to finish. It's the LAST total lunar eclipse visible from Indiana until January 21, 2019!

lunar eclipse october 2014
My composite photo of the lunar eclipse from October 8, 2014 - the second in the tetrad of 4 total eclipses between 2014-2015. This photo is hanging on my living room wall!
The composite photo above is from the 2nd total lunar eclipse in the tetrad. A tetrad is literally a "group of four" and is often used to refer to the series of consecutive lunar eclipses in this relatively short period between 2014-2015.

The above photo shows essentially the first half of a full eclipse progression, as the moon enters the Earth's penumbra (lighter shadow) it begins to dim. This part isn't all that impressive to the casual observer but it does show up in photos.

Next, the moon enters the Earth's umbra (darker shadow) and this is when the moon looks like it is being eaten. This is the most dramatic part to watch for observers.

Finally, when the eclipse becomes total when the moon is entirely inside the Earth's umbra. To observers, the moon will look very dark and eerie - a cool and unique sight to see. It really only gets that rusty red color in photographs that have the ability to collect more light than your eyes can.

In October 2014, the moon set before it came all the way out of the Earth's shadow - but this time, on the night of September 27-28 it will be visible for the entire process from start to finish.

partial lunar eclipse april 2015
One of my photos from the 3rd lunar eclipse in the tetrad on April 4, 2015. In Indiana, this one set before going into total eclipse.
I'm really looking forward to this total lunar eclipse to start on September 27. Here are just a few of the reasons:
  • It lasts from 8:11pm to 1:22am so it's not too late at night!
  • The moon will be high in the sky during the total eclipse, which means clearer photos with less distortion from the atmosphere.
  • It's happening in September so we won't have to deal with mosquitoes or sub-zero temperatures.
  • It's the LAST total lunar eclipse of the 2014-2015 tetrad. 
  • It's the LAST total lunar eclipse visible from Indiana until January 21, 2019.

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