September 2015 lunar eclipse
|Total lunar eclipse
September 28, 2015
|Ecliptic north top
The moon passes right to left (west to east) through the Earth's shadow
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.
View of Earth from Moon
Simulated appearance of Earth and atmospheric ring of sunlight
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.
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.
|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.
The timing of total lunar eclipses are determined by its contacts:
- 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.
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.
|Ascending node||Descending node|
||2013 Apr 25
||2013 Oct 18
||2014 Apr 15
||2014 Oct 08
||2015 Apr 04
||137||2015 Sep 28
|142||2016 Mar 23
||147||2016 Sep 16
|Last set||2013 May 25||Last set||2012 Nov 28|
|Next set||2017 Feb 11||Next set||2016 Aug 18|
|September 22, 2006||October 2, 2024|
- Fred Espenak & Jean Meeus. "Visual Appearance of Lunar Eclipses". NASA. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Espenak, Fred. "Lunar Eclipses for Beginners". MrEclipse. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- Clarke, Kevin. "On the nature of eclipses". Inconstant Moon. Cyclopedia Selenica. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, Jean Meeus, p.110, Chapter 18, The half-saros
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