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Lunar Eclipses

There is an eclipse of the Moon when the Moon enters in the umbra or penumbra of the Earth. Contrary to solar eclipses during which the Sun isn’t obscured but occulted by the Moon, the lunar eclipses show the lack of illumination of the Moon for which the Sun is hidden by the Earth. For an observer located on the Moon’s surface, there is an eclipse of the Sun. The Sun, the Earth and the Moon are then almost aligned, and we are at the New Moon. If the orbital plane of the Moon was the same as of the Earth (Ecliptic), then we would have an eclipse of the Moon on each Full Moon, but the Moon’s orbital plane is tilted by 5° 17′ from the Earth’s orbital plane at the Full Moon. The intersection of those two planes is a line called line of nodes and the intersections between this line and the Ecliptic are called node of the Moon’s orbit. To have an eclipse, the Moon must be near the line of nodes during the Full Moon.
There are total, partial and penumbral eclipses of the Moon. There is a total eclipse when the Moon is totally inside the umbra of the Earth and a partial eclipse when only part of Moon is inside the umbra of the Earth. Finally, a penumbral eclipse of the Moon is when no point of the Moon is inside the Earth’s umbra and all or some part of the Moon is inside the penumbra of the Earth, meaning that from the Moon we can view only a partial eclipse of the Sun.
The solar eclipses predate or follow the lunar eclipses by 14 about days. To compute all the dates and types of eclipses of the Moon, a lunar eclipse calculator is available for your own use. A time exposure calculator is there to help you choose your camera settings. Those who want to concentrate on observing the event visually can rely on Lunar Eclipse Maestro to automatically take pictures for them.

You can also explore the Five Millennium (-1999 to +3000) Canon of Lunar Eclipses and create Google Maps and Google Earth files for 12,064 eclipses.

Mapping Tools & Next Eclipses • Five Millennium Canon

• PLE 2012 June 4
• NLE 2012 November 28
• PLE 2013 April 25
• NLE 2013 May 25
• NLE 2012 October 18
• TLE 2014 April 15
• TLE 2014 October 8
• TLE 2015 April 4
• TLE 2015 September 28
• NLE 2016 March 23
• NLE 2016 September 16
• NLE 2017 February 11
• PLE 2017 August 7
• TLE 2018 January 31
• TLE 2018 July 27
• NLE 2019 July 16
• PLE 2020 January 10

This is page "Lunar Eclipses" |  Page "Lunar Eclipse Photography"
Lunar Eclipse 2003 Botswana Lunar Eclipse 2004 Chile
Lunar Eclipse 2007 USA Lunar Eclipse 2008 France Lunar Eclipse 2010 USA
Lunar Eclipse June 2011 Namibia Lunar Eclipse December 2011 India Lunar Eclipse April 2014 Chile
Lunar Eclipse October 2014 USA Australia Lunar Eclipse April 2015 USA Lunar Eclipse September 2015 Namibia France
Lunar Eclipse January 2018 Oman Lunar Eclipse July 2018 Namibia Australia Canary Spain  
This is page "Lunar Eclipses" |  Page "Lunar Eclipse Photography"

Software: Lunar Eclipse Maestro

  Lunar Eclipse Maestro Software Main Screen Preview

This application controls up to 4 USB, Firewire or Ethernet connected DSLR and CCD cameras during a lunar eclipse, so that you can be free to concentrate on observing the event visually. This brief overview will let you know more.

Now available for download

Requires: MacOS X 10.4.x (Tiger), 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), 10.7.x (Lion), 10.8.x (Mountain Lion), 10.9.x (Mavericks), 10.10.x (Yosemite) or 10.11.x (El Capitan)


Last page update on December 23, 2011.
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