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Stuart Jackson 2004

Lunar Eclipses - Penumbral - February 1st 1999


From Astronomy 1999:
Generally penumbral eclipses are of little interest, lacking the darkness and spectacular colour changes seen in a total eclipse. If the moon makes only a shallow entry into the penumbra, it will only be slightly dimmed and difficult to see.

However, this eclipse is interesting because it is a total penumbral eclipse, which means that the Moon will be wholly immersed within the Earth's penumbral shadow.

Total penumbral eclipses are vary rare, and only account for 1.2% of all lunar eclipses. At mid eclipse the moon will be less than one arc minute from the Earths umbral shadow. Because of this total immersion, the eclipse will be quite apparent to observers with the lunar northern region noticeably darkened.


Hmm this eclipse caught me totally by surprise. I had been extremely busy and hadn't noticed this written down in my diary. However about midnight I wandered outside to check out the sky as I usually do when up late. The first thing I noticed was the dark northern region of the moon. Wow! I had observed this rare eclipse without even knowing about it. 

you are at: Astronomy Lunar Eclipses Penumbral - February 1st 1999
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