A penumbral lunar eclipse, the first of four visible in 2020, occurred early in the evening of January 10th, for observers in the British Isles. As this was a penumbral, and not a total or partial lunar eclipse, none of the Moon lay within the Earth’s umbral shadow, which was to the south of the Moon. This image, captured by Paul Sutherland with a handheld lens from Walmer in Kent, shows the mid part of the event, which was at approximately 19h 11m UT.
In 2019, observers were treated to two lunar eclipses. The eclipse on January 21st was a total one, though it meant getting up before dawn to see it, at the coldest part of the year! Hence it would be mainly diehard enthusiasts that made the effort to see the first of the two.
The eclipse on July 16th was partial, with the Moon passing through the southern sector of the Earth’s shadow cone, with the maximum phase occurring at 21h 32m UT, when 65% of the Moon lay in the umbral shadow. Read more
A certain law governs all astronomers’ attempts to observe events in the sky – you know the one I mean! It was certainly working against us Friday 27th of July when the much-publicised total eclipse was itself eclipsed by thick clouds. The ensuing thunderstorm brought us some much-needed rain but why, after weeks of clear skies, did it have to come on that particular night? Read more
It’s ironic that, after an autumn and winter when clear skies were a rarity, the summer should provide so many clear nights at a time when it hardly gets dark! Judging by the increase in the number of images sent in to the Lunar Section many members chose to turn their telescopes on the brighter objects that were visible and these, of course, include the Moon. Read more
The long-awaited clear skies and the warm weather have clearly brought SPA members out to their telescopes and I have received images from Paul Brierly and Dave Finnigan. The seeing has not always been the best and this was the case on May 23rd when Paul acquired the image below. Nevertheless with the aid of a Baader 742nm IR Proplanet filter he produced a result with which he was happy and which shows a lot of detail. Read more