On August 16, 2008 (and the morning of August 17 east of England) the full Moon passed through the Earth's shadow, producing a deep partial
lunar eclipse for skywatchers throughout Europe, Africa. Asia and South America. At 19:36 UT the Moon began its entry into the innermost shadow zone.
For more than an hour a circular shadow creeped across the Moon's face. At 21:10 UT maximum eclipse took place, during which 81 percent of the Moon's
diameter was immersed in Earth's shadow. Althought the Moon was not completely hidden in the shadow, the eclipsed part of
the Moon did show the eerie coppery tint that is so prominent during total lunar eclipses. The partial eclipse ended at 22:44 UT, when the
Moon left the dark shadow.
20:45 - 23:00 UT
Arjan Esschendal photographed the eclipse from a meadow near Dalen, The Netherlands. He used
a Canon 30D and 500mm lens with 1.4 extender.
19:30 - 23.15 UT
Peter Elzinga (Bergum, The Netherlands) photographed with a Canon Eos 30D and
Canon 70-200 FL and Tamron 17-50 F2,8 CXR lenses. The composite picture shows images of the eclipsed moon centered around
Earth's shadow that were taken between 19:30 and 23:15 UT.
Jayne Kamien took these photopraphs between 1130pm on 16 Aug 08 and 2am on 17 Aug 08: "Our total time for the eclipse was
11pm to 2 am. This was taken through my telescope and also using a digital camera lined up with
the eye piece. So I seen it upside down of course. The pictures were taken in Ramadi Iraq were Iím located at the moment."
21:28 UT Exposure 2 sec, 200 ASA
21:30 UT Exposure 2 sec, 200 ASA
22:03 UT Exposure 1/5 sec, 200 ASA
Bas and Brechje van Beek Skyglory used a Canon 350 DH and an Astrotech 66AT. They photpgraphed from Marken in The Netherlands.
Where is the Moon?
Frank Robijn (Delft, The Netherlands) experienced clouds but could nevertheless obtain this nice shot of the eclipse
Roel Weinenberg (Deventer, The Netherlands)
Jan Koeman captured the eclipse near these towers in Kloetinge (Zeeland, The Netherlands) using a Nikon D300 fixed at 400 iso and a Nikon 80-200 f 2.8 zoom lens.
Exposure time 1 to 5 sec at f 5.6.
Ron de Vrieze used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS3 behind a Zoom telescope Telesport 9-30x40."
Jeroen van Holland (Kampen, The Netherlands) used a Canon 350d and a 100-400 mm lens.
MariŽt Klei (Groningen, The Netherlands) photgraphed between 20:45 and 21:15 UT, using a Canon Eos 400D and sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 lens.
Ralf Koppeschaar posted himself on a 60 metres high dune in the Netherlands near the North Sea in order to have an unobstructed view of moonrise.
Unfortunately haziness prevented this and the moon only became visible half an hour later. Later on he went back to the city of Haarlem and captured the
partial eclipse above one of the typical Dutch canals.
Carl Koppeschaar accompanied his son and also tried to capture typical Dutch scene during the eclipse.
Dr. David Montes of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) took a whole series of pictures. Visit
his webpage to view even more.
Our distinguished webcasters in The Netherlands, Norway and Spain also have photo galleries of their results. They worked very hard and Astronet would like to thank them for their great job!
Astronet welcomes your photographs. But PLEASE resize your jpg-format images to 600 by 800 pixels and atmost 200 kB.
Not more than 3 different pictures per person. E-mail your nicest pictures to lunareclipse AT astronet DOT nl
In The Netherlands the popular science websites Kennislink ("Knowledge Link"), Astronet, science teacher
Planeten Paultje and the Dutch astronomical society
Orion brought a live webcast of the event. On the Canary Islands Saros Group Scientific Expeditions
also webcasted the eclipse. Weather prospects for the Netherlands were rather favourable, but in the evening we were troubled by haze. In England clouds obstructed the view.
On August 16-17, 2008, the full Moon will pass through the Earth's shadow, producing a total lunar eclipse for skywatchers throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Full Moon passes through the Earth's shadow.
The Moon encounters the penumbra, the Earth's outermost shadow zone, at 18:23 Universal
Time (UT). About thirty minutes later a slight dusky shading can be noticed on the
leading edge of the Moon.
At 19:36 UT the Moon begins its entry into the innermost shadow zone, or umbra.
For more than an hour a circular shadow creeps across the Moon's face.
At 21:10 UT, 81 percent of the Moon's diameter is eclipsed by Earth's dark shadow, the umbra. The eclipsed part should take on
an faint and eerie coppery tint that can be compared with the colour of blood.
The maximum phase of Saturday's partial lunar eclipse will look much like this. Bas and Brechje van Beek of Skyglory captured this partial phase of
the February 21, 2008 total lunar eclipse using a 101mm F5.4 Genesis Tele Vue telescope and a Canon 350DH camera, sensitized for H-alpha, at 200 ASA.
Without Earth's atmosphere, the Moon would disappear completely once immersed in
the umbra. Longer wavelengths of light penetrate Earth's atmosphere better than
shorter wavelengths, which is why the rising or setting sun looks reddish. In
essence, the ruddy tint of a totally eclipsed moon comes from the ring of
atmosphere around Earth's limb that scatters a sunset-like glow into the umbra.
During the total phase of a lunar eclipse a ring of reddish sunlight surrounds the Earth.
This hue actually changes from one eclipse to another, ranging from a bright coppery
orange to brownish. The Moon may darken so much that it becomes all but invisible
to the unaided eye. These very dark lunar eclipses often occur after exceptional
During the maximum phase of a total lunar eclipse the Moon shines with a orange reddish glow. Photograph: Robert Smallegange (Leeuwarden, The Netherlands).
Today's lunar eclipse will not be total, however. But the eclipse is do deep that in binoculars and on overexposed photographs the reddish part should become visible. The partial phases of eclipse
end at 22:44 UT, when the moon's exits the umbra. The eclipse ends at 23:57 UT when the moon makes its last contact with the penumbra.
A full animation of the partial lunar eclipse can be found at Larry Koehn's website Shadow & Substance. Click to animate.
In 1702, Pierre de La Hire made a curious observation about Earth's
umbra. In order to accurately predict the duration of a lunar eclipse,
he found it necessary to increase the radius of the shadow about 2% larger
than warranted by geometric considerations. Although the effect is
clearly related to Earth's atmosphere, it's not completely understood
since the shadow enlargement seems to vary from one eclipse to the next.
The enlargement can be measured through careful timings of lunar craters
as they enter and exit the umbra. Such observations are best made using a
low-power telescope and a clock or watch synchronized with radio time
signals. Timings should be made to a precision of 0.1 minute. The basic
idea is to record the instant when the most abrupt gradient at the umbra's
edge crosses the apparent centre of the crater. In the case of
large craters like Tycho and Copernicus, it's recommended that you
record the times when the shadow touches the two opposite edges of
the crater. The average of these times is equal to the instant of
Here are predictions for the immersions and emersions of craters on the Moon:
Immersion and Emersion Times (UT) for the partial lunar eclipse of August 16, 2008
During the eclipse the 3rd magnitude star Delta Capricorni can be seen south of the moon. West of the moon are 5th to 6th magnitude stars 42, 44 and 45 Capricorni, almost lined up in a row.
One degree more to the west planet Neptune can be found. It is so weak however, that a telescope will be needed to find it.
Next lunar eclipses
On December 31, 2009 another partial lunar eclipse will occur. But this will be a minor eclipse, during which only 8 percent of the Moon's diameter will be immersed in Earth's shadow.
The next total lunar eclipse will occur on December 21, 1010. That eclipse will be visible
from eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific, the Americas and Europe.