Detailed description of the first total lunar eclipse of 2014

Detailed description of the first total lunar eclipse of 2014

Many enthusiasts sought not to miss the observation of a full eclipse moon that occurred the very next night from the 14th to the 15th of April, and those who are allowed to do so by the weather may consider themselves lucky. Because this spectacle is even more beautiful and interesting than you can imagine. Particularly impressive is the entry of Moon into the Earth's shadow and then its exit from the shadow, all intermediate moments can be missed. The past eclipse could be observed “online” on the site Watch over the moon in real time.

Observers who knew what to look for were more likely to see a terrific eclipse if the weather allowed them to end. It began at 2 am EDT or at 6:00 GMT and lasted about 3, 5 hours. The eclipse should have been seen, if the weather permitted, for most of North America and partly in South America.

For the convenience of observers, a detailed “guide” on the observation of all stages of the eclipse was posted on the website, which is provided below with the indication of the time of events in the EDT format:

Stage 1

0:53 EDT: The moon enters the penumbra penumbra The cone of the shadow of the Earth consists of two parts: the dark, inner region “umbra”, surrounded by lighter penumbra, called “penumbra”. The penumbra is the pale outer part of the Earth's shadow, and therefore, although the eclipse begins officially at the moment the Moon enters it, it is, in fact, a purely academic event. At the same time, the spectators do not see anything unusual about what is happening with the Moon - at least not at this time, indicated in the “manual” for the observers of the eclipse given on

The penumbra region of the penumbra represents a shadow of the Earth that is so faint that nothing special can be noticed until the moon plunges deep enough into it, so that the penumbra takes up about 70 percent of the moon's disk. The next 45 minutes, the glow of the full Moon will continue to appear normal, although with every minute it moves deeper into the cosmic shadow of the Earth.

Stage 2

1:39 EDT: The penumbra penumbra begins to be observed.

Now the moon has advanced far enough in the partial shade, so it starts to become noticeable on its disk. Observers may begin to look for the appearance of a very faint shadow on the left side of the moon, more and more noticeable by the minute, and this shadow begins to spread farther and farther. Right in front of the Moon’s entrance into the umbra shadow area, the occupied space “penumbra” begins to look like a blurred and dull area on the left side of the moon.

Stage 3

1:58 EDT: The moon enters the “umbra” area

The moon now begins to cross the dark central part of the Earth’s shadow, called the “umbra”. A small dark arc-shaped portion begins to appear on the left (eastern) side of the moon. The partial eclipse phase begins, the pace accelerates, and the changes become more and more dramatic. The area corresponding to the “umbra” looks much darker than the “penumbra” and has rather sharply defined edges.

Time passes, and the black shadow slowly creeps across the face of the moon. At first it may seem that the disk of the moon completely disappears inside this shadow. But much later, when he moves even deeper inside her, it will be noticed that he glows with a faint orange, or reddish, or brown light. The observer may also notice that the edge of the shadow cast by the Earth on the Moon looks curved. This is an obvious confirmation that the Earth is a ball, the latter was proved by Aristotle from his observation of the eclipses of the Moon as early as the 4th century BC. At the moment of a total eclipse, the deep shadows from the bright moonlight gradually begin to fade.

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