Following hot in the heels of the last Lunar Eclipse which occurred on April 15th, once again the Western Hemisphere will be treated to a second Full Lunar eclipse.
In Vancouver it was a slight disappointment as right at the high point of the event in came the clouds and ironically enough, just as the show was winding down, well, so the clouds began to race away again! Hopefully we will get a better chance of a more complete show on October 8th and it seems to be happening around the same time as the last, so that means a very late night or very early morning for some.
For accurate times and what to expect wherever you are in the world take a look at this link: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2014-october-8
There has been plenty of excitement surrounding these particular Lunar eclipses as they are a series of ‘Tetrad’ eclipses, this means that there will be 4 Eclipses happening over 2014 and 2015 which is quite a rare happening. Here in Vancouver we will be lucky enough to witness a full Lunar eclipse.
There are a few other type of eclipses that can be watched around the earth and they are catogorised into the following types.
Total lunar eclipse
This is the daddy of them all, it essentially means that we are right in the path of totality where the Earth is exactly in between the Sun and the Moon – if it is a clear evening you can watch the Sun set and if you look in the opposite direction, pretty much at the same time as our gorgeous Sun sets the Full Moon will also start to rise. It is quite the sight and stunning moment where the transition from day to night occurs with the two brightest objects in our sky.
Partial lunar eclipse
If you are able to witness the full Eclipse one thing you will notice is that as the Earth begins to pass in front of the Sun a bite is taken out of the Moon as the shadow of the Earth starts to remove the light of day from the disk of the Moon, unlike a Full eclipse where the Moon will completely darken and redden in colour, with a partial eclipse only a portion of the Moon is covered in the Earths shadow. Some are not very spectacular, while others may dominate much of the Moon, either way it is a noticeable difference for us down here on earth.
Penumbral lunar eclipse
This is the least spectacular of the bunch as all we are witnessing here is the Earth slightly passing in front of the Sun, for any astro boffins this is called the Prenumbral stage – when watching the full Lunar eclipse this marks the very beginnings and ending of the stages of an eclipse – to many this is not very noticeable eclipse depending on how much of the Earth is blocking the Sun.
The next eclipses of the Moon after October 8th will occur on April 4, 2015: Total Lunar Eclipse: Visible from the Pacific Ocean and bordering regions in the Americas, Asia and Australia, and on Sept. 28, 2015: Total Lunar Eclipse: Visible from east Pacific Ocean, Americas, Europe, Africa, western Asia.
For further in depth information on the process of how these eclipses are broken down, please click here for an illustration of the full eclipse. http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?attachment_id=4261