Broken Hill’s total lunar eclipse 8 October

Basic photographs taken, but brilliantly clear and memorable!

The TLE went off as expected, at the time expected, in the way expected.

We had perfect conditions – dust free, crystal clear and beautifully warm.

The bright full moon was slowly engulfed by the Earth’s shadow and finally fully covered, before moving again into clear skies away from Earth’s shadow.

One reason why some people find TLE’s fascinating is because the colour of the moon, as it changes during the eclipse, indicates to scientists the health of the atmosphere, and other things. There is a scale known as the Danjon Scale used by observers to allocate a number (form 0 to 4) to the colour of the moon.  This colour has a relationship with the solar cycle.

Many of us simply enjoy the viewing as a wonderful reminder of the science behind the event.

Outback Astronomy did not have a sky show on for this event but discovered interest amongst visitors who were in town. There may be opportunity to host an event for the next eclipse (April 2015) even though it is only a partial eclipse. During such a sky show our commentary would describe the nature of the eclipse and interesting facts about the moon.

Incidentally, as for the number on the Danjon Scale most appropriate for the Broken Hill moon during the TLE, we’d say somewhere close to 2, the middle of the scale.

We did see a reddish, rusty coloured moon with its edge still distinguishable, even though my photos do not depict this detail.