September 2015 lunar eclipse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Total lunar eclipse
September 28, 2015
Ecliptic north top
Lunar eclipse chart close-2015Sep28.png
The moon passes right to left (west to east) through the Earth's shadow
Gamma -0.3296
Duration (hr:mn:sc)
Totality 1:11:55
Partial 3:19:52
Penumbral 5:10:41
Contacts (UTC)
P1 0:11:47
U1 1:07:11
U2 2:11:10
Greatest 2:47:07
U3 3:23:05
U4 4:27:03
P4 5:22:27

A total lunar eclipse will take place on September 28, 2015. It is the latter of two total lunar eclipses in 2015, and the final in a tetrad (four total lunar eclipses in series). Other eclipses in the tetrad are those of April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, and April 4, 2015. This lunar eclipse will be particularly rare, because it is a harvest moon lunar eclipse, taking place also on the day of the closest supermoon of 2015.


The eclipse will be visible over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

Lunar eclipse from moon-2015Sep28.png
View of Earth from Moon
Lunar eclipse from moon simulation-sep 28 2015.png
Simulated appearance of Earth and atmospheric ring of sunlight


Main article: Lunar eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth's umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, the Earth's shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown color (typically - the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions). The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by the Earth's atmosphere into its umbra.[1]

The following simulation shows the approximate appearance of the Moon passing through the earth's shadow. The Moon's brightness is exaggerated within the umbral shadow. The northern portion of the Moon was closest to the center of the shadow, making it darkest, and most red in appearance.

Animation September 28 2015 lunar eclipse appearance.gif


Local times of contacts
adjustments from
-7h -6h -5h -4h -3h -2h -1h 0h
Event Evening September 27 Morning Sept. 28
P1 Penumbral begins* 5:12 pm 6:12 pm 7:12 pm 8:12 pm 9:12 pm 10:12 pm 11:12 pm 12:12 am
U1 Partial begins 6:07 pm 7:07 pm 8:07 pm 9:07 pm 10:07 pm 11:07 pm 12:07 am 1:07 am
U2 Total begins 7:11 pm 8:11 pm 9:11 pm 10:11 pm 11:11 pm 12:11 am 1:11 am 2:11 am
Mid-eclipse 7:47 pm 8:47 pm 9:47 pm 10:47 pm 11:47 pm 12:47 am 1:47 am 2:47 am
U3 Total ends 8:23 pm 9:23 pm 10:23 pm 11:23 pm 12:23 am 1:23 am 2:23 am 3:23 am
U4 Partial ends 9:27 pm 10:27 pm 11:27 pm 12:27 am 1:27 am 2:27 am 3:27 am 4:27 am
P4 Penumbral ends 10:22 pm 11:22 pm 12:22 am 1:22 am 2:22 am 3:22 am 4:22 am 5:22 am

* The penumbral phase of the eclipse changes the appearance of the Moon only slightly and is generally not noticeable.[2]

Contact points relative to the earth's umbral and penumbral shadows, here with the moon near is descending node

The timing of total lunar eclipses are determined by its contacts:[3]

P1 (First contact): Beginning of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
U1 (Second contact): Beginning of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
U2 (Third contact): Beginning of the total eclipse. The Moon's surface is entirely within the Earth's umbra.
Greatest eclipse: The peak stage of the total eclipse. The Moon is at its closest to the center of the Earth's umbra.
U3 (Fourth contact): End of the total eclipse. The Moon's outer limb exits the Earth's umbra.
U4 (Fifth contact): End of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra leaves the Moon's surface.
P4 (Sixth contact): End of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra no longer makes contact with the Moon.

Related eclipses[edit]

The eclipse is the one of four lunar eclipses in a short-lived series at the descending node of the moon's orbit.

The lunar year series repeats after 12 lunations, or 354 days (shifting back about 10 days in sequential years). Because of the date shift, the Earth's shadow will be about 11 degrees west in sequential events.

Lunar eclipse series sets from 2013–2016
Ascending node   Descending node
Saros Viewing
Type Saros Viewing
Partial lunar eclipse 2013-04-25 2018UTC.jpg
2013 Apr 25
Lunar eclipse from moon-2013Apr25.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2013Apr25.png
2013 Oct 18
Lunar eclipse from moon-2013Oct18.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2013Oct18.png
Lunar eclipse April 15 2014 California Alfredo Garcia Jr1.jpg
2014 Apr 15
Lunar eclipse from moon-2014Apr15.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2014Apr15.png
Lunar eclipse October 8 2014 California Alfredo Garcia Jr mideclipse.JPG
2014 Oct 08
Lunar eclipse from moon-2014Oct08.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2014Oct08.png
Lunar eclipse April 4 2015 greatest Alfredo Garcia Jr LA.jpg
2015 Apr 04
Lunar eclipse from moon-2015Apr04.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2015Apr04.png
137 2015 Sep 28
Lunar eclipse from moon-2015Sep28.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2015Sep28.png
142 2016 Mar 23
Lunar eclipse from moon-2016Mar23.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2016Mar23.png
147 2016 Sep 16
Lunar eclipse from moon-2016Sep16.png
Lunar eclipse chart close-2016Sep16.png
Last set 2013 May 25 Last set 2012 Nov 28
Next set 2017 Feb 11 Next set 2016 Aug 18

Half-Saros cycle[edit]

A lunar eclipse will be preceded and followed by solar eclipses by 9 years and 5.5 days (a half saros).[4] This lunar eclipse is related to two annular solar eclipses of solar saros 144.

September 22, 2006 October 2, 2024
SE2006Sep22A.png SE2024Oct02A.png

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fred Espenak & Jean Meeus. "Visual Appearance of Lunar Eclipses". NASA. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ Espenak, Fred. "Lunar Eclipses for Beginners". MrEclipse. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Clarke, Kevin. "On the nature of eclipses". Inconstant Moon. Cyclopedia Selenica. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, Jean Meeus, p.110, Chapter 18, The half-saros

External links[edit]