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Monday, October 17, 2005


That was the eclipse that was

The Moon at maximum eclipse. There is a reason for the blogs subtitle.

After a mostly clear day, of course the clouds rolled in during the evening. At first it was patchy, and as I popped out to have a look in between kids homework, washing dishes and the other minuitae of life (like finalizing the exams and my Sky&Space contribution) the Moon was lighting up the clouds on one horizon, and Venus and Antares twinkled through gaps in the cloud on the other horizon. The night wa splesantly warm and the landscape silvered by the Moonlight leaking through the clouds. The ISS went over at 19:40. It was brighter than I expected, skimming through the patches of clear sky, it could even be seen dimly though the clouds in its path. The iridium flare coincided with a very cloudy period though, and could not be seen. Then the clouds abated for a bit just before maximum eclipse, and I could see a definite "bite" from the Moon. Then the clouds rolled in again, obscuring the eclipse maximum. By the time the clouds cleared, the eclipse was pretty well over, but high thin clouds made a nice "Moonbow" around the Moon. All in all, despite the cloud and the loss of maximum, it was a beautiful night.

Glad you got to see it. A very good picture too. I can't see much, too many clouds.

Good post, come to think of it, I haven't seen a flare in quite some time. Off to check out Sky&Space..

Thanks for the details on the partial lunar eclipse. Glad you had good night viewing the parts you could see.

Here in New York City the Moon was ~12° below the horizon at the midpoint of the eclipse I was observing that night in Central Park and one person stopped by to ask about whether the eclipse was happening yet. I turned on my PDA and Planetarium for the Palm showed it had happened that morning and wasn't visible in the city.

All the best.

Manhattan, NY
G'Day Tom and Ben

Shame about the clouds, and it seems it is repeating for the Mars closest approach [sigh]. However, clouds can part, the Earth abides. Sadly for most the US, the Eclipse was mostly seen in the Pacific states. Hope there was good viewing of the sky in Central Park, even if the eclipse was not to be seen..
The partial eclipse was a pretty sight from Sydney. Wish I could share, but I still don't have a digital camera...
No camera? Try sketching with pencil and paper (plain HB's or coloured ones if you have them). It will help capture the moment (and pencils never need recharging). My trusty pad and pencil have accompanied me to may astromomical events.
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