Sunday, September 27, 2015

TONIGHT: 'Blood / Super' & Harvest Moon Tetrad Eclipse w/ Web-Casts

Animation September 28 2015 lunar eclipse appearance.gif

This simulation shows the approximate appearance of the Moon passing through Earth's shadow for tonight's Total Eclipse of the Moon. 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. (Image Source: )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

TONIGHT, the fourth and final Total Eclipse of the Moon, of the current Tetrad of total lunar eclipses will be visible throughout America, WEATHER-PERMITTING. The eastern half of America will see the entire eclipse, while the western half of America will see the eclipse in-progress, as the Moon rises in their area.

For areas where the weather is not cooperating, there will be Internet web-casts available for anyone to watch. Internet links to these web-casts are at the end of this blog post.

The eclipse event actually begins on Sunday evening at 8:11:46 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / Monday at 0:11:46 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as the Moon enters the dim penumbral shadow of the Earth. This will result in a slight dimming of the light coming from the Moon, which not everyone will be able to notice. Everyone watching will be able to see the Moon entering the Earth's umbral shadow, at 9:07:12 p.m. EDT (Sept. 27) / 1:07:12 UTC (Sept. 28), as the Partial Lunar Eclipse phase begins.

A Lunar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Moon is when the orbit of the Moon brings our natural satellite into the Earth's shadow, always near the time, and including the time, of a Full Moon. Hence, when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in such a near-perfect alignment, it is known as a syzygy. As the Moon's orbit .around the Earth is slightly tilted, with respect to the Earth's orbit around the Sun, such an alignment does not occur most of the time, when the Moon passes above or below the Earth's shadow.

An Eclipse of the Moon or Lunar Eclipse is the type of eclipse that is safe to watch, directly, with the naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Of course, visibility is dependent on local weather conditions. For areas where sky conditions are poor, as well as in areas where the eclipse will not be visible at all, Internet web-casts of the event will be available (links to these web-casts are listed near the end of this blog post).

This will be the fourth and final Total Lunar Eclipse, in a Tetrad of four successive total eclipses of the Moon, within a span of two years, with no partial lunar eclipses occurring within those two years. The dates of the other three Total Lunar Eclipses of the current Tetrad are 2014 April 15, 2014 October 8, and 2015 April 4.

Lunar Eclipse Tetrads are sporadic and usually rare. There were no such Tetrads during the 300-year period of 1600 to 1900. However, this is the first of eight Tetrads in the 21st Century! The next Tetrad will begin in April of 2032.

Some Christian ministers have proposed that this particular Tetrad may fulfill a "Blood Moon” prophecy of the end-times, while others including Mike Moore, the then-General Secretary of Christian Witness to Israel (in January of 2014), discount such a prophecy.

Tonight's Tetrad Total Lunar Eclipse is a so-called “Super Moon,” a perigee Full Moon caused by the closest approach of the Moon to the Earth in 2015: 356,877 kilometers. Hence, tonight's Full Moon will look a little bit larger than any other Full Moon this year, particularly near the horizon during Moon rise and Moon set (actually, the Moon always looks a little bigger during Moon rise and Moon set, as a person's vision then compares the size of the Moon to other objects near the horizon). . And, as with many such perigee full moons, very large tides are predicted along ocean coastlines for about a 24-hour period.

The Full Moon of tonight's Tetrad Total Lunar Eclipse is also the Harvest Moon for 2015. The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, the official beginning of Autumn or Fall, which occurred on September 23. As hours of sunlight become shorter, and temperatures became cooler, farmers would be rushing to harvest all of their crops. The days around the Harvest Moon would give them, and their workers, additional light in the evening to finish harvesting their crops.

The Harvest Moon, in general, can occur from two weeks before the Autumnal Equinox to two weeks after the beginning of Fall. When the October Full Moon occurs early in the month, it is then sometimes considered the Harvest Moon. The October Full Moon, which is usually the first Full Moon after the Harvest Moon, is usually considered the Hunter's Moon, providing hunters with additional light to hunt game after sunset. When the October Full Moon is considered the Harvest Moon, some still consider it the Hunter's Moon as well, while others then consider the November Full Moon the Hunter's Moon. The Harvest Moon has the same characteristics in the Southern Hemisphere, when it occurs in March or April.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the September Full Moon is also known as the Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, Wild Rice Moon, and Red Plum Moon.

The September Full Moon has been given several names in the Southern Hemisphere: Worm Moon, Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, and Sap Moon.

Here are the major stages of the eclipse --- Sunday Evening to Monday Morning, 2015 September 27 to 28 (EDT: Eastern Daylight Saving Time / UTC: Coordinated Universal Time) ---

                                                                                                             September 27 / September 28
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Begins – ECLIPSE BEGINS               8:11:46 p.m. EDT / 0:11:46 UTC
Partial Lunar Eclipse Begins                                                         9:07:12 p.m. EDT / 1:07:12 UTC
Lunar Perigee (356,877 kilometers)                                            10:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 UTC
Total Lunar Eclipse Begins                                                          10:11:11 p.m. EDT / 2:11:11 UTC
Greatest Lunar Eclipse                                                                10:47:09.1 p.m. EDT / 2:47:09.1 UTC
Moon Phase - Full Moon                                                               10:51 p.m. EDT / 2:51 UTC
Total Lunar Eclipse Ends                                                              11:23:07 p.m. EDT / 3:23:07 UTC
                                                                                                               September 28 / September 28
Partial Lunar Eclipse Ends                                                            12:27:06 a.m. EDT / 4:27:06 UTC
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Ends – ECLIPSE ENDS                        1:22:33 a.m. EDT / 5:22:33 UTC

Internet Web-Casts of the September 27 to 28 Total Eclipse of the Moon ---

NASA - Begins Sept. 27, 8:00 p.m. EDT / Sept. 28, 0:00 UTC: 
Sky & Telescope Magazine - Begins Sept. 27, 9:00 p.m. EDT / Sept. 28, 1:00 UTC:
Link >>>

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles - Begins Sept. 27, 9:30 p.m. EDT / Sept. 28, 1:30 UTC:

NASA Science News: Total Eclipse of the Harvest Moon:
Link >>>

How to Photograph this Lunar Eclipse:
Link >>>

More on the so-called "SuperMoon": Link >>>

More on the Full Moon: Link >>>

More on Full Moon names ---
More on the “Blood Moon” prophecy of the end-times:

Related Blog Posts ---


"Early Sat. Morning Lunar Eclipse w/ Web-Casts." 2015 April 4.

Link >>>

"Colorful, Early Wed. Morning Lunar Eclipse w/ Web-Casts." 2014 Oct. 8.

Link >>>

Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tue. Morning w/ Web-Cast." 2014 April 14.

Link >>>


U.S. to See 4 Total Lunar Eclipses in Year & A-Half." 2014 March 29.

Link >>>


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.

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