October 2014 lunar eclipse

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Total lunar eclipse[1]
October 8, 2014
Lunar eclipse October 8 2014 California Alfredo Garcia Jr mideclipse.JPG
Loleta, California, 10:56 UTC
Ecliptic north up
Lunar eclipse chart close-2014Oct08.png
The moon passes right to left (west to east) through the Earth's shadow
Saros (and member) 127 (42 of 72)
Gamma 0.3827
Duration (hr:mn:sc)
Totality 58:50
Partial 3:19:31
Penumbral 5:18:03
Contacts (UTC)
P1 8:15:36
U1 9:14:48
U2 10:25:09
Greatest 10:54:35
U3 11:23:59
U4 12:34:19
P4 13:33:39

A total lunar eclipse took place on October 8, 2014. It is the second of two total lunar eclipses in 2014, and the second in a tetrad (four total lunar eclipses in series). Other eclipses in the tetrad are those of April 15, 2014, April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.

Visibility and appearance[edit]

NASA chart of the eclipse

The eclipse was visible in its entirety over the Northern Pacific. Viewers in North America experienced the eclipse after midnight on Wednesday, October 8, and the eclipse was visible from the Western Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and Eastern Asia after sunset on the evening of October 8. Many areas of North America experienced a selenelion, able to see both the sun and the eclipsed moon at the same time.[2]

Visibility Lunar Eclipse 2014-10-08.png
Lunar eclipse from moon-2014Oct08.png
Simulation of Earth from the Moon.


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.[3] 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 southern portion of the Moon was closest to the center of the shadow, making it darkest, and most red in appearance.

Animation October 8 2014 lunar eclipse appearance.gif

The planet Uranus was near opposition (opposition on October 7[4]) during the eclipse, just over 1° from the eclipsed Moon. Shining at magnitude 5.7, Uranus should have been bright enough to identify in binoculars. Due to parallax, the position of Uranus relative to the Moon varied significantly depending on the viewing position on the surface of Earth.


Lunar eclipse of 2014 October 8.JPG
Composite from Aichi prefecture, Japan
Lunar Eclipse Windchu.jpg
Composite from Coralville, IA, first contact to the greatest.
Lunar eclipse at sunrise Minneapolis October 2014.png
Selenelion from Minneapolis, MN, with a partially eclipsed moon still up after sunrise, 12:26 UTC, seen by sunlight on foreground trees, right.


Local times of contacts
adjustments from
+8h +11h +13h -9h -8h -7h -6h -5h -4h -3h
Event Evening October 8 Evening October 7 Morning October 8
P1 Penumbral begins N/A† 7:16 pm 9:16 pm 11:16 pm 12:16 am 1:16 am 2:16 am 3:16 am 4:16 am 5:16 am
U1 Partial begins N/A† 8:15 pm 10:15 pm 12:15 am 1:15 am 2:15 am 3:15 am 4:15 am 5:15 am 6:15 am
U2 Total begins 6:25 pm 9:25 pm 11:25 pm 1:25 am 2:25 am 3:25 am 4:25 am 5:25 am 6:25 am 7:25 am
Greatest eclipse 6:55 pm 9:55 pm 11:55 pm 1:55 am 2:55 am 3:55 am 4:55 am 5:55 am 6:55 am Set
U3 Total ends 7:24 pm 10:24 pm 12:24 am 2:24 am 3:24 am 4:24 am 5:24 am 6:24 am Set Set
U4 Partial ends 8:34 pm 11:34 pm 1:34 am 3:34 am 4:34 am 5:34 am 6:34 am Set Set Set
P4 Penumbral ends 9:34 pm 12:34 am 2:34 am 4:34 am 5:34 am 6:34 am Set Set Set Set

† The Moon was not visible during this part of the eclipse in this time zone.

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:[5]

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

Related eclipses[edit]

The eclipse is the one of four total 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, Earth's shadow will be about 11° west in sequential events.

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).[6] This lunar eclipse is related to two annular solar eclipses of solar saros 134.

October 3, 2005 October 14, 2023
SE2005Oct03A.png SE2023Oct14A.png

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHfigures/OH2014-Fig03.pdf
  2. ^ Boyle, Alan (October 7, 2014). "Lunar Eclipse Provides an Extra Twist for Skywatchers: Selenelion". NBC News. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Fred Espenak & Jean Meeus. "Visual Appearance of Lunar Eclipses". NASA. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20141007_13_100
  5. ^ Clarke, Kevin. "On the nature of eclipses". Inconstant Moon. Cyclopedia Selenica. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, Jean Meeus, p.110, Chapter 18, The half-saros