August 2008 lunar eclipse

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Partial lunar eclipse
2008/8/16 [1]
Saros (member) 138 (29)
Recent <S <T < > T> S>
Cape Town, South Africa
Lunar eclipse chart close-2008Aug16.png
The moon passes right to left through the earth's northern shadow
Gamma[1] 0.5647
Duration (hr:mn:sc)
Partial 3:08:08
Penumbral 5:30:31
P1 18:24:50 UTC
U1 19:36:05 UTC
Greatest 21:10:06 UTC
U4 22:44:13 UTC
P4 23:55:21 UTC
Lunar eclipse chart-08aug16.png
At ascending node in Capricornus

A partial lunar eclipse took place on August 16, 2008, the second of two lunar eclipses in 2008, with the first being a total eclipse on February 20, 2008. The next lunar eclipse was a penumbral eclipse occurring on February 9, 2009, while the next total lunar eclipse occurred on December 21, 2010.


NASA chart of the eclipse
Lunar eclipse from moon-2008Aug16.png
These simulated views of the earth from the center of the moon during the lunar eclipse show where the eclipse is visible on earth.

Parts of Australia saw it begin before sunrise, while parts of South America saw it end just after sunset. The eclipse is also seen in the Philippines and other parts of Asia at moonset. Parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw it when it is visible.

The penumbral eclipse began at 18:23 UTC, with the partial eclipse beginning at 19:36. The time of greatest eclipse was 21:10. The partial eclipse ended at 22:44, and the penumbral eclipse will ended at 23:57.

The planet Neptune was 2 days past opposition, visible in binoculars as an 8th magnitude "star" just two degrees west and slightly south of the moon.


Visibility Lunar Eclipse 2008-08-16.png

Relation to other lunar eclipses[edit]

Eclipses of 2008[edit]

Lunar year series[edit]

Saros series[edit]

Lunar saros series 138 has 26 total eclipses between September 7, 2044 and March 24, 2369. The longest eclipse will be on January 7, 2243, and last for 102 minutes.

Partial eclipses will occur between June 24, 1918 and August 13, 2603. Penumbral eclipses will occur between October 15, 1521 and March 30, 2982. [2]

Metonic cycle (19 years)[edit]

The Metonic cycle repeats nearly exactly every 19 years and represents a Saros cycle plus one lunar year. Because it occurs on the same calendar date, the earth's shadow will in nearly the same location relative to the background stars.

Metonic lunar eclipse sets 1951–2027
Descending node   Ascending node
Saros Date Type Saros Date Type
103 1951 Feb 21 Penumbral 108 1951 Aug 17 Penumbral
Lunar eclipse chart-1951Feb21.png Lunar eclipse chart-1951Aug17.png
113 1970 Feb 21 Partial 118 1970 Aug 17 Partial
Lunar eclipse chart-1970Feb21.png Lunar eclipse chart-1970Aug17.png
123 1989 Feb 20 Total 128 1989 Aug 17 Total
Lunar eclipse chart-1989Feb20.png Lunar eclipse chart-1989Aug17.png
133 2008 Feb 21 Total 138 2008 Aug 16 Partial
Lunar eclipse chart-2008Feb21.png Lunar eclipse chart-08aug16.png
143 2027 Feb 20 Penumbral 148 2027 Aug 17 Penumbral
Lunar eclipse chart-2027Feb20.png Lunar eclipse chart-2027Aug17.png

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).[3] This lunar eclipse is related to two total solar eclipses of Solar Saros 145.

August 11, 1999 August 21, 2017
SE1999Aug11T.png SE2017Aug21T.png

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gamma is the minimum distance of the Moon's shadow axis from Earth's centre in Earth radii at greatest eclipse.
  2. ^ Hermit Eclipse: Eclipse Saros 138
  3. ^ Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, Jean Meeus, p.110, Chapter 18, The half-saros

External links[edit]