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Total Lunar Eclipse - 15 June

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Faerie
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« on: May 25, 2011, 14:57:25 PM »

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Total lunar eclipse for SA
2011-05-25 14:41
 
Duncan Alfreds
Cape Town - The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) has announced that a rare eclipse will be visible in SA during June.

"A total lunar eclipse will be visible from South Africa on the 15th of June 2011. The last total lunar eclipse visible from this region was in February 2008 and the next one will only be in September 2015," the SAAO told News24 in a statement.

Despite the regular nature of eclipses, astronomer Dr Enrico Olivier said that this was quite special.

"It's special in the sense that it's a total eclipse which is somewhat more rare than a normal lunar eclipse which is usually a partial or penumbral eclipse," he told News24.

The next total eclipse will be visible from SA in September 2015. The moon will enter the earth's shadow at 21:22 and at 23:03, will start to leave the earth's umbral shadow.

Difference

"There are at least two a year and they normally fall in the middle of the year and at the end of the year.

"There's another one at the end of the year and that one will be a total eclipse if I remember correctly from certain parts of the world, but from Southern Africa it will only appear as a partial eclipse and that will only happen in the early morning," said Olivier.

He explained that the main difference between the solar and lunar eclipse was that there was no danger of UV radiation when one looked at a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

"A solar eclipse the moon actually casts a shadow on the surface of the earth, and in the case of a lunar eclipse it's the other way round: The earth is actually casting its shadow on the moon."

Observers in the urban areas would not get the same view of the night sky during an eclipse as those who are in rural areas, said Olivier.

"It would appear similar to when there's no full moon around. In the case of the city it won't make that much difference because of the light pollution, but if you go to a dark site, you notice the difference to when there's no moon around and when there's a full moon."

Significance

There is no real scientific significance of a lunar eclipse though Olivier acknowledged that there were several cultural myths around celestial events.

"No, not really. It's something that happens quite often, and as I said, there's not much scientific interest."

Volunteers from the SAAO will be going on a hike up Lion's Head to witness the eclipse if the weather permits and the public is invited to join them just before the moon rises at about 17:30.


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- News24

Read more on:    astronomy  |  saao 


http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/Total-lunar-eclipse-for-SA-20110525
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st0nes
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mark.widdicombe1
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 15:07:49 PM »

Thanks.  I remember once when Scallywag and I lived on a communal farm in the then Transvaal and we all decided to watch a total lunar eclipse.  We met in a livestock-free field, set up deck chairs, popped open wine bottles and waited.  Eventually something started to happen.  The moon got redder over a period of about half an hour.  Then it stopped getting redder.  Eventually, it began getting less red, and about half an hour later it was normal again.  I think Scallywag and I were the only ones still awake, and that was because we made our own entertainment while the astronomical equivalent of paint drying was going on overhead.
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Faerie
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 15:14:42 PM »

Thanks.  I remember once when Scallywag and I lived on a communal farm in the then Transvaal and we all decided to watch a total lunar eclipse.  We met in a livestock-free field, set up deck chairs, popped open wine bottles and waited.  Eventually something started to happen.  The moon got redder over a period of about half an hour.  Then it stopped getting redder.  Eventually, it began getting less red, and about half an hour later it was normal again.  I think Scallywag and I were the only ones still awake, and that was because we made our own entertainment while the astronomical equivalent of paint drying was going on overhead.

Sounds like a good memory....  Wink
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benguela
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benguela
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2011, 15:54:23 PM »

the astronomical equivalent of paint drying was going on overhead.


And so what you do is contribute to science like doing crater timings to resolve some as yet not fully understood phenomena, send them to Sky & Telescope

then using the Danjon scale assess the brightness and send to Richard Keen.

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st0nes
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mark.widdicombe1
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 16:12:40 PM »

the astronomical equivalent of paint drying was going on overhead.


And so what you do is contribute to science like doing crater timings to resolve some as yet not fully understood phenomena, send them to Sky & Telescope

then using the Danjon scale assess the brightness and send to Richard Keen.



Perhaps that's what you do, but I lack the patience.  I'd rather do what I did ont that evening (and, yes Faerie, it was memorable).
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Hermes
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 16:49:55 PM »

It occurring on the eve of a public holiday, it could be ideal for a star party, in whatever way you want to approach it.
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benguela
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 21:06:48 PM »

The West Rand Astronomy Club http://www.wrac.org.za will be doing a star party for the Lunar eclipse at one of their members place in Krugersdorp, map here: http://www.wrac.org.za/home/images/clint/clint.jpg
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Faerie
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 14:09:50 PM »

Reminder for tonight!

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st0nes
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mark.widdicombe1
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 14:12:00 PM »

Reminder for tonight!


Thanks.  It's raining here, though, so I think they'll call it off.
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GCG
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 14:15:01 PM »

my sleepsel and i booked a wooden house in the middle of nowhere for tonight.  cue loads of firewood and zol.  should be epic.
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