09/24/2015 – Ephemeris – Looking forward to Sunday’s Lunar Eclipse
Ephemeris for Thursday, September 24th. The Sun will rise at 7:32. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 7:36. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:20 tomorrow morning.
Lets check out Sunday’s total lunar eclipse. It will be visible from the entire contiguous United States, and in its entirety from Colorado, eastward. The partial phase will start at 9:07 p.m. The total phase will begin at 10:11 p.m. and extend to 11:23 p.m. when the ending partial phase will start. The eclipse will end at 12:27 a.m. The eclipse is perfectly viewable with the naked eye or binoculars. For those who want company and commentary as to what’s going on, the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will provide two venues from which to view the eclipse: The Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, south of Traverse City on Birmley Rd. and Platte River Point at the end of Lake Michigan Road off M22, part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, weather permitting.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
The following is an excerpt from my September 1 post.
Contact times are labeled P1, U1, U2, U3, U4, and P4. P2 and P3 are omitted because they are synonymous with U1 and U4 respectively:
- P1 – 8:11:47 p.m. Enter the penumbra (unseen). By about 8:30 the duskiness on the left edge of the moon will start to be noticeable.
- U1 – 9:07:11 p.m. Enter the umbra (partial eclipse begins).
- U2 – 10:11:10 p.m. Totality begins.
- Mid eclipse 10:48:17 p.m.
- U3 – 11:23:05 p.m. Totality ends, egress partial phase begins.
- U4 – 12:27:03 a.m. Partial phase ends. The Moon’s upper right edge should appear dusky for the next half hour or so.
- P4 – 1:22:27 a.m. Penumbral phase ends (unseen).
Note: The duskiness of the penumbral phase of the eclipse can be enhanced by viewing through sunglasses.
During the total phase, light leaks in around the Earth due to the bending of light in the Earth’s atmosphere, so the Moon is illuminated by the collective sunrises and sunsets around the globe. This usually gives the Moon a coppery hue, that some are now calling a blood moon. Occasionally, due to volcanic eruptions the Moon can become very dark.
This full moon is also the Harvest Moon and for those who care, a supermoon, it having reached perigee earlier that day.
Weather permitting there will be two GTAS venues to view this eclipse. The first will be the NMC Rogers Observatory. The second will be at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at Platte River Point at the end of Lake Michigan Road. The site will be open for the visible parts of the eclipse from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.