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11/18/2021 – Ephemeris – An almost total eclipse of the Moon will be visible early tomorrow morning

November 18, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, November 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 5:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 7:58 tomorrow morning.

Should our normal November clouds depart in the early morning hours tomorrow, we will be treated with a very deep partial eclipse of the Moon. At 4:03 am, the Moon will be 97% immersed into the Earth’s inner shadow, with lower left edge peeking out into sunlight. I haven’t heard of any massive volcanic eruptions in our Southern Hemisphere, so the light leaking and bent though the Earth’s atmosphere from all the simultaneous sunrises and sunsets during the eclipse won’t be too diminished and give us a coppery hue in the shadow. The shadow will touch the Moon at its top edge at 2:19 am. The maximum will occur at 4:03 am, and the last bit of the shadow will depart at the lower right edge of the Moon at 5:47 am.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Partial Lunar Eclipse 11/19/21 4:05 EST maximum

November 19, 2021, partial lunar eclipse maximum at 4:05 am EST. Orientation of the Moon and shadow could be different if not viewing from Northern Michigan. Created using Stellarium.

Lunar Eclipse Diagram

Lunar Eclipse Diagram for November 19, 2021. Effects of the eclipse on the Moon at P1 and P4 are not visible. U1 is the Moon at the beginning of the partial eclipse. U4 is the Moon at the end of the partial eclipse. A duskiness on the Moon’s face on the side closest to the umbral shadow will be visible just before and after the partial eclipse. Note that this diagram is not at the same orientation that an observer might experience. Created from a NASA PDF document on the NASA Eclipse Website. https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html.

05/27/2021 – Ephemeris – Miss yesterday’s eclipse? There’s 2 more in the next 12 months.

May 27, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, May 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 9:17, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:02. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 11:14 this evening.

While yesterday morning’s lunar eclipse may have been disappointing by setting just as it got going. That won’t happen with the next one. The next lunar eclipse visible from Northern Michigan will occur this November 19th, a Friday. It’s another morning eclipse, but doesn’t compete with sunrise or morning twilight. It’s not quite total, but nearly 97.5% of the Moon’s diameter will be covered by the Earth’s inner umbral shadow. The partial eclipse will start at 2:18 am and end at 5:47 am, which in November is nowhere near sunrise. We seem to be coming into a fortuitous period of eclipses in the next few years. Our next lunar eclipse after November will be next May 15th’s lunar eclipse, and it will be total and will conveniently happen in the evening.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

05/25/2021 – Ephemeris – Viewing the lunar eclipse tomorrow morning

May 25, 2021 1 comment

This post is for the appearance of the May 26th lunar eclipse in Michigan.

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 25th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 9:15, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:04. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 6:09 tomorrow morning.

If we are really lucky tomorrow morning, and it is clear all the way down to the southwestern horizon at dawn we will witness the start of an eclipse of the Moon near sunrise and moonset. The eclipse starts at 4:48 am, but nothing unusual will be visible as the Moon starts to enter Earth’s outer, penumbral shadow. Perhaps by 5:15 the left edge of the Moon might appear dimmer than the right side. The Moon will be getting deeper in that shadow for the next half hour until at 5:45 it begins to enter the Earth’s inner shadow, the umbra. The only light in the umbra is that bent into it by the simultaneous sunrises and sunsets around the Earth. For the next 20 to 25 minutes the shadow will increase until the Sun rises and shortly after that the Moon sets around 6:09.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Moon deep in the penumbra

Simulated image of the Moon deep in the penumbra of the lunar eclipse of May 26, 2021 at 5:40 am. Notice that the left side of the Moon is darker than the right side. I find that the effect is more noticeable when wearing sunglasses to cut down the Moon’s bright glare. Created using Stellarium.

The partially eclipsed moon at moonset

Simulated view of the partially eclipsed Moon of May 26, 2021 setting on a flat horizon. Created using Stellarium and touched up by using GIMP.

Time Event
4:47 am Nautical twilight starts
4:48 am The Moon enters penumbra (Nothing to see, the dimming on the left side is imperceptible)
5:15 am The penumbral shadow should become visible at the left edge of the Moon by this time
5:45 am The Moon enters the umbra (The partial part of the eclipse begins)
6:04 am Sunrise for Traverse City
6:09 am Moon sets for Traverse City

The sunrise and moon set times may vary by more than a few minutes depending on your location.

05/24/2021 – Ephemeris – Get ready for Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse

May 24, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, May 24th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 9:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:04. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:33 tomorrow morning.

If we are really lucky Wednesday morning, and it is clear all the way down to the southwestern horizon at dawn, we will witness the start of an eclipse of the Moon as the Sun rises and the Moon sets. The first inkling that something strange is happening to the Moon will come around 5:15 am or so. The Moon will be deep in the Earth’s outer, partial, shadow called the penumbra and the left side of the Moon should appear darker than the rest of it. The brightening of the twilight should enhance the effect. The partial phase of the eclipse will start at 5:45, where the left edge of the Moon will actually begin to disappear into the Earth’s inner shadow, the umbra. Within 20 to 25minutes later the Sun will rise and shortly after the Moon will set.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Moon deep in the penumbra

Simulated image of the Moon deep in the penumbra of the lunar eclipse of May 26, 2021 at 5:40 am. Notice that the left side of the Moon is darker than the right side. I find that the effect is more noticeable when wearing sunglasses to cut down the Moon’s bright glare. Created using Stellarium.

Created with GIMP by Bob Moler

Simulated view of the partially eclipsed Moon of May 26, 2021 setting on a flat horizon. Created using Stellarium and touched up by using GIMP.

Time Event
4:47 am Nautical twilight starts
4:48 am The Moon enters penumbra (Nothing to see, the dimming on the left side is imperceptible)
5:15 am The penumbral shadow should become visible at the left edge of the Moon by this time
5:45 am The Moon enters the umbra (The partial part of the eclipse begins)
6:04 am Sunrise for Traverse City
6:09 am Moon sets for Traverse City

The sunrise and moon set times may vary by more than a few minutes depending on your location.

05/20/2021 – Ephemeris – Our first look at next Wednesday’s lunar eclipse

May 20, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, May 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 1 minute, setting at 9:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:51 tomorrow morning.

Next Wednesday’s lunar eclipse will be total as seen from half the Earth’s surface, but not the half we’re on. We will catch the start of the eclipse as the Moon is setting, and the Sun is rising. That puts us in a unique position. For 5 minutes between sunrise and moonset we will be able to see both the Sun and the Earth’s shadow falling on the Moon. The Earth’s atmosphere bends the Sun’s red rays into the Earth’s shadow, which is why the Moon usually appears red when totally eclipsed and not completely black. The Sun’s light rays that pass over our heads will continue through our atmosphere to be bent more and will pass into the Earth’s shadow so someone farther west of us can enjoy the red totally eclipsed Moon.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

This is a diagram of the Moon’s passage through the Earth’s shadow. P1 is the contact with the edge of the Moon entering the Earth’s penumbra shadow, an event that cannot be seen. U1 is the first contact with the Earth’s inner umbra shadow and the start of the partial eclipse. U2 is the second contact with the edge of the umbra and the start of totality. U3 is the third contact with the umbra and the end of totality and the beginning of the ending partial phase. U4 is the end of the partial phase, with the Moon now back in the penumbra. P4 is when the Moon leaves the penumbra. Click on the image to enlarge. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.
Visibility map for the May 26, 2021. The events U1-4 and P1&4 are contacts with the Earth’s shadow. Click on the image to enlarge. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.

The two charts above are contained in a single PDF here-> https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2021May26T.pdf.

UT (Universal Time) to EDT conversion: Subtract 4 hours.

05/18/2021 – Ephemeris – Eclipses visible in Northern Michigan this year

May 18, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 9:08, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:10. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 2:57 tomorrow morning.

This year we will see in part or in full three eclipses from our Northern Michigan location. The first will be the start of a total lunar eclipse next week Wednesday, May 26th. It will start just before sunrise, which for a full moon is around moonset. Our next eclipse will be a solar eclipse that starts, for us, before sunrise on June 10th. In fact, most of the eclipse will occur before sunrise for us in Northern Michigan. The farther north and east of us the more of the eclipse you’ll see. I’ll have more information on the lunar in the next week of programs. And the solar eclipse as we approach that date. We have a final lunar eclipse this year. That will occur in the wee morning hours of November 19th, a partial, but almost total eclipse.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The four eclipses that occur in 2021

We in Northern Michigan we’ll see part of the first two and all of the third.

May 26, 2021 Total Lunar Eclipse
The visibility map for the May 26th total lunar eclipse. Note Michigan’s mitten lies between the U1 and U2, which means that the Moon will set after the partial eclipse starts, but before totality. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak

June 10, 2021 Annular Solar Eclipse

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse. In an annular eclipse the Moon is too far away and appears too small to cover the face of the Sun. So, at maximum a ring of bright Sun surrounds the Moon. It’s sometimes called a ring of fire. For locations within the big floppy figure 8 the eclipse either ends near sunrise or starts near sunset. The double red line with the ellipses in it is the path of where the ring is visible. Locations within the blue grid will see a partial eclipse. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.
November 19, 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse
The visibility map for the November 19, 2021 partial eclipse. The eclipse is visible in its entirety in the morning of the 19th. This eclipse is almost total. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.
December 4, 2021 Total Solar Eclipse
Visibility map for the December 4, 2021 total solar eclipse. Totality is onlt visible from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.

06/05/2020 – Ephemeris – A penumbral eclipse of the Moon for the eastern hemisphere of Earth today

June 5, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, June 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 9:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 9:32 this evening.

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon this afternoon. We won’t get to see it because the Moon won’t be up yet. The eclipse, such as it is, will be only visible from the eastern hemisphere of the Earth like Asia. Even then there won’t be much to see. In a penumbral eclipse the Moon only enters the Earth’s outer shadow, called the penumbra where sunlight is only partially cut off. Observers on the affected parts of the Moon would see the Sun only partially eclipsed. And anyone whose seen a partial solar eclipse will tell you that it doesn’t get that dark. So most penumbral eclipses go unnoticed unless one is told about them. This one less than 60% of the Moon will be immersed in the Earth’s penumbral shadow.

There will be two more penumbral lunar eclipses this year, both visible from the United States: July 5th when only 35% of the Moon’s diameter is immersed in the penumbra, and November 30th when 83% is immersed.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lunar eclipse chart

Lunar eclipse chart for the penumbral lunar eclipse of July 5th, 2020. Unfortunately for Michigan it will occur between 1:45 and 5:04 pm before the Moon rises tonight. Click on the image to see the original pdf page from NASA. Credit NASA GSFC/Fred Espenak.

Eclipse visibility map

Eclipse visibility map. Areas on the Earth where the eclipse is visible. Credit NASA GSFC/Fred Espenak.

07/16/2019 – Ephemeris – 50 years ago today the Apollo mission left for the Moon

July 16, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 9:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:13. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 9:30 this evening.

50 years ago today at 11:32 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time the most powerful rocket ever built roared into life. The Saturn V, a three stage rocket, 363 feet tall, which in turn launched two spacecraft, the Command and Service modules, and the Lunar Module, and three astronauts on their journey to destiny, Neil Armstrong, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, and Michael Collins. It was the start of the Apollo 11 mission. It happens that tonight the namesake of the rocket, the planet Saturn is to the right of the Moon. At launch the Moon was two days old, a thin crescent in the west that evening. Four days later they would be orbiting the Moon, and Armstrong and Aldrin would be descending to the Moon’s surface.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addenda

Apollo 11

Crew of Apollo 11

Left to right Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot; and Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot. Credit: NASA.

Apollo 11 launch

The Saturn V for the Apollo 11 mission lifts of from Pad 39A. Credit: NASA.

The Moon and Saturn tonight

The Moon and Saturn tonight, 11 p.m. July 16, 2019. In reality the Moon will be so bright that Saturn will be almost overwhelmed. Created using Stellarium.

Here’s an excellent podcast series from the BBC:  13 Minutes to the Moon.

Partial Lunar Eclipse

The partial lunar eclipse today is not mentioned in the program because it is not visible locally.

Partial Lunar Eclipse of July 16, 2019. Click on image to enlarge. Credit NASA/GSFC/F. Espenak.

01/20/2019 – Ephemeris lunar Eclipse extra

January 20, 2019 Comments off

For those of us who may be socked in tonight we have a link to the livestream of the eclipse.

This is the link:  https://livestream.com/GriffithObservatoryTV/LunarEclipseJanuary2019?origin=event_published&mixpanel_id=f1e6c5e68dbb0-067054b61-43681f0a-2ee000-f1e6c5e68ec0e&acc_id=7596023&medium=email

I subscribe to their email notices, which explains the end of the URL.

You can go to their main site: http://griffithobservatory.org/ and scroll down to Upcoming Activities and Total Lunar Eclipse then Watch live online.  That connection is real slow now.

Update 9:p.m. EST:

Looks like they are having clouds over LA.  However we (Interlochen/Traverse City, MI) are partly cloudy with more clear spots than clouds, and the clouds seem to be thin.  The GOES satellite is showing a thin lake effect flow from the north.  So maybe we might pull this one off.

GOES Great Lakes cloud animation

GOES Great Lakes cloud animation for 9 p.m. Credit NOAA.

01/18/2019 – Ephemeris – There will be a total eclipse of the Moon Sunday night the 20th

January 18, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 5:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:14. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 6:39 tomorrow morning.

There will be a lunar eclipse late this Sunday evening and into early Monday morning. For what it’s worth it’s also a super-moon. Starting around 10 p.m. a distinct duskiness will appear on the moon’s lower left side, as that part of the Moon is in the deepest part of the Earth’s outer penumbral shadow. At about 10:34 p.m. Sunday evening the lower left edge of the Moon will begin to enter the Earth’s inner shadow the umbra starting the partial phase of the eclipse. The Moon will be totally immersed in the shadow by 11:41 p.m. and will probably appear a coppery color. Totality will end at 12:43 a.m. Monday morning when the left edge of the Moon peeks out into sunlight. This final partial phase will end at 1:51 a.m.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Total Lunar Eclipse

The Moon’s passage through the Earth’s shadow January 20-21, 2019. Credit Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC. Clicking on the above image will link to the official NASA pdf of this eclipse.

Eclipse times

UT times are for January 21st. EST times are for the nearest minute.

Note that at contacts P1 and P4 nothing will be visible out of the ordinary.  As the Moon moves to the U1 contact the left edge of the Moon will appear noticeably dusky as more and more sunlight is cut off.

The reddish color of totally eclipsed Moon is due to all the sunrises and sunsets happening at that time on the Earth.  The Earth’s atmosphere bends the Sun’s light into its shadow.