Eclipses observations

A total lunar eclipse took place on June 15, 2011. This was a relatively rare central lunar eclipse, in which the center point of Earth's shadow passes across the Moon.

 

The path of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011. Image credit: Tom Ruen/Wikipedia.
The path of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011. Image credit: Tom Ruen/Wikipedia.

 

The eclipse was visible all over Europe and in several other parts of the world. The path of the lunar eclipse is shown bellow.

 

Visibility map of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011. Image credit: Fred Espenak/NASA/Wikipedia.
Visibility map of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011. Image credit: Fred Espenak/NASA/Wikipedia.

 

Pictures have been taken all over Europe. We present you some of them bellow. Fortunately, this time the weather has cooperated with all interested observers. The eclipse schedule also allowed children all over Europe to observe the eclipse with their parents.

 

The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve. Image credit: Alexandre Costa.
The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve. Image credit: Alexandre Costa.

 

A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve. Image credit: Alexandre Costa.
A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve. Image credit: Alexandre Costa.

 

The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in The Czech Republic. Image credit: Wespecz/Wikipedia.
The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in The Czech Republic. Image credit: Wespecz/Wikipedia.

 

A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Montalbán de Cordoba, Spain. Image credit: Hameryko/Wikipedia.
A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Montalbán de Cordoba, Spain. Image credit: Hameryko/Wikipedia.

 

A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Malta. Image credit: Leonard E. Mercer.
A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Malta. Image credit: Leonard E. Mercer.

 

A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Hungary. Image credit: Gestrgangleri/Wikipedia.
A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Hungary. Image credit: Gestrgangleri/Wikipedia.

 

A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Pisa, Italy. Image credit: @UgoRom via Twitter.
A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Pisa, Italy. Image credit: @UgoRom via Twitter.

 

This eclipse was the first of two such eclipses in 2011. The second will occur on December 10, 2011.

Europe woke up on January 4th waiting for the announced total eclipse. Though some good images could be acquired by making pictures of the eclipse, in most of the places the Sun couldn't be seen due to clouds in the sky.

Here we present some images about the solar eclipse in different places around Europe.

 

The eclipse in Bucareste. Image credit: Eugen Simion.
The eclipse in Bucareste. Image credit: Eugen Simion.

 

The eclipse in Slovakia. Image credit: Eston.
The eclipse in Slovakia. Image credit: Eston.

 

The eclipse seen from Turku, Finland. Image credit: Sakari Ekko.
The eclipse seen from Turku, Finland. Image credit: Sakari Ekko.

 

The eclipse between clouds seen from the South of Portugal. Image credit: Alexandre Costa and students.
The eclipse between clouds seen from the South of Portugal. Image credit: Alexandre Costa and students.

 

In Ireland, according to Deirdre Kelleghan, EAAE's Irish National Representative, on January 4th a fantastic sunrise greeted the families and individuals who turned up at the South Beach Greystones Co Wicklow at 08:30 hours. The solar disc was already partially eclipsed as it rose over the sea in-between thin gray cloud slivers.  Some of the St Cronan’s boys arrived with their parents to see this phenomenon.

In December 2010, Project Moonwalkers challenged people to make a report or take pictures or make drawings or poems about the Lunar Eclipse that occured late night of December 20th or early in the morning of December 21st depending on the location on Earth. This eclipse's maximum occured at 08h17min (UTC) which means it was early in the morning in Europe. The map bellow shows how the eclipse was seen all over the World.

 

The visibility of the Lunar Eclipse of December 21st. Image credit: Wikipedia.
The visibility of the Lunar Eclipse of December 21st. Image credit: Wikipedia.

 

The following scheme shows how the various stages of the eclipse were seen by observers that had the luck to have favorable weather conditions for the observation of the phenomena.

 

The Lunar Eclipse of December 21st. Image credit: Wikipedia.
The Lunar Eclipse of December 21st. Image credit: Wikipedia.

 

For almost four centuries a total lunar eclipse hasn't coincided with the December solstice, called the Winter Solstice in Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in Southern Hemisphere.  If weather conditions allowed a clear view of the sky Western Europe could see the first stages of the eclipse before moonset. On the rest of the world people from North America, Greenland and Iceland could see the entire event, and western Asia and Australia got the end of the eclipse after moonrise.

Many beautiful images were posted on the Internet by many lucky astronomers that had the weather cooperating with them.

 

Sequence from Toronto, Ontario. Sequence is in 15 minute increments, with 5 minute increments up until totality at 8:17am UTC. Image credit: Tom Ruen/Wikipedia.
Sequence from Toronto, Ontario. Sequence is in 15 minute increments, with 5 minute increments up until totality at 8:17am UTC. Image credit: Tom Ruen/Wikipedia.

 

Space shuttle Discovery waits to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the early morning hours of Dec 21, 2010, with the beginning of the total lunar eclipse clearly in view. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.
Space shuttle Discovery waits to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the early morning hours of Dec 21, 2010, with the beginning of the total lunar eclipse clearly in view. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.

 

In the majority of European countries where there was a possibility of seeing the  eclipse the bad weather made it impossible to be seen. This was my case. As shown bellow in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, where it usually never rains,  it was very cloudy and occasionally raining at the time the eclipse might have been seen.

 

The clouds over Algarve, Portugal, looking towards the direction where the Moon should be at 08h15min (UTC). Image credit: EAAE/Alexandre Costa.
The clouds over Algarve, Portugal, looking towards the direction where the Moon should be at 08h15min (UTC). Image credit: EAAE/Alexandre Costa.

 

Luckily, this was not general. Some images can already be found on the Internet about the event in Europe. For instance Stu Atkinson has described his experience viewing this eclipse in the UK on his blog.

 

Lunar Eclipse seen from Kendal Castle, Cumbria, UK. Image credit: Stu Atkinson/Cumbrian Sky.
Lunar Eclipse seen from Kendal Castle, Cumbria, UK. Image credit: Stu Atkinson/Cumbrian Sky.

 

Some people didn't have photographic settings to make picture with their telescope so they just made a sketch. This was the case of Ted Judah who saw the eclipse at California and made the beautiful sketch we present bellow.

 

A sketch of the Dec. 21st lunar eclipse by Ted Judah.
A sketch of the Dec. 21st lunar eclipse by Ted Judah.