Total Lunar eclipse of 31st of January 2018 was totally obscured by clouds

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Total Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Negative
Date and time: 31.01.2018, 14:50 UT
Observing place: Ulvila, Finland
Observing conditions: Totally cloudy sky during my whole observing session, 8/8
Observing instruments: Camera: Olympus µ 1030 SW

Total lunar eclipse of 31st of January 2018 was totally obscured by clouds, at least in Ulvila, Western Finland. In the morning of this day, there was still small hope of seeing at least a glimpse of the eclipse, but during the day a weather front approached from the west and the sky was totally clouded out well before the Moon had even risen above horizon. This eclipse was a total eclipse, but only the very last phases of the eclipse would have been visible here in Ulvila, if the sky had been clear enough. So this time no luck. Next lunar eclipse is happening in late July this year, and it’s also going to be a total eclipse. So my thoughts, hopes and expectations are already in the July eclipse!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lunar eclipse of 31st of January 2018 was totally obscured by clouds.
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Partial Lunar Eclipse 7.8.2017

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Partial Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 07.08.2017, 18:44-20:22 UT
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: Clear sky (1/8)
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope L80/400mm (3” refractor)

Finally I was lucky with observing a Lunar eclipse! The eclipse of 7th of August 2017 was well visible in Turku, Finland.

Only the last phases of the eclipse were visible. The Moon was below horizon during the early eclipse and during maximum eclipse. Soon after maximum eclipse the Moon rose above horizon also in Turku. The Moon rose as it was partially in the umbra, and it was quite an exotic sight to witness! As the Moon rose higher, it was leaving the umbra. The 4th contact of the eclipse happened around 19.18 UT. The penumbra was still visible until about 19.45 UT.

This was a very enjoyable and memorable event to observe! I’m very glad and thankful that I was able to observe this eclipse!

Here are some photos from the eclipse:

Penumbral Lunar eclipse 10/.11.2.2017 was not visible because of clouds

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Penumbral Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Negative
Date and time: 10./11.02.207, 22:30-01:00 UT
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: Totally cloudy sky during my whole observing session, 8/8
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D

I was not able to observe this penumbral Lunar eclipse because of thick and persistent cloudcover that prevented me to see the eclipse. The cloudcover was a bit thinner before the beginning of the eclipse, and I was able to see the Moon through the clouds, but the clouds got thicker before the onset of the eclipse, and it was totally cloudy from the beginning of the eclipse until maximum eclipse, when I gave up observing. And I have a very good reason to assume, that it was cloudy also from the maximum eclipse to the end of the eclipse.

Here is a photo that I took for documenting purposes:

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It was totally cloudy during the maximum eclipse @ ~00:45 UT.

Penumbral Lunar eclipse 16.9.2016

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Penumbral Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 16.09.2016, 17:24-20:55 UT
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: Clear sky (1/8, only some clouds in southern horizon, but the clouds didn’t cause problems)
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope L80/400mm (3” refractor)

Penumbral Lunar eclipse of 16th of September 2016 was well visible from beginning to end in Turku, Finland. I was observing the event with Linda Laakso in Uittamo district of Turku.

This penumbral eclipse was deeper than the one in October of 2013. During this eclipse, the penumbral magnitude was 0,93 whereas in the eclipse of October 2013 it was only 0,79. The penumbra was obvious in photographs, and it was also weakly visible visually. Visually it became visible around 18 UT, about hour before maximum eclipse.

The penumbra was visible also through the finder of my camera (that was attached to my telescope), and through the finderscoope of the telescope and small binoculars. I also noted, that the penumbra was easier to observe through window glass, when the lights were on in the room. By doing this, window glass acted as a lunar filter and it helped to reduce the bright glare of the full Moon and to enhance contrast. In the photographs, the penumbra become also visible around 18 UT.

When photographing this event, I took the photos with exposure time of 1/160s (with ISO 100). I noticed, that most of the photos were overexposed, at least for the lower limb of the Moon. Nevertheless, I was able to enhance the contrast of the photos with Paint Shop Pro, and by doing so, to make the photos better. From this I got a reminder of the importance of using different exposure times when photographing the Moon or Lunar eclipses. It is possible then choose the best photos later.

But anyway, I’m happy and thankful for being able to witness this celestial event! The next event in the sky of Finland is in 11th of February 2017, and it’s going to be similar penumbral eclipse like this one.

Below you can see my photos from this penumbral eclipse:

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Maximum eclipse @ 18:54 UT
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A serie of photos demonstrating the progress of the eclipse. In the last photo, there were some Sc clouds in the sky partially obsuring the Moon, the clouds are visible as a darkening in the lower limb of the Moon.

Lunar eclipse 27./28.9.2015 was (almost) totally obscured by clouds

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Total Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: (Almost 100%) Negative
Date and time: 27./28.9.2015, 03:00-06:30
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: 99% of time overcast

Unfortunately the total Lunar Eclipse in the morning of 28th of September wasn’t visible on my observing site in Turku, Finland. The sky was almost totally overcast during the course of the eclipse. Only in the time of first contact, there was gaps in the clouds and I was able to see that the eclipse has started. I was able to see some darkening in the upper left limb of the Moon. Soon after that, I was totally clouded out and I wasn’t able to see even a glimpse of the eclipse.

I have had extremely bad luck with observing total Lunar Eclipses during past few years. Last total eclipse that I have been able to observe was in 2007. The next opportunity for observing total Lunar Eclipse is in 2018. It is going to be a long waiting until then..

03:00 Stratocumulus 7/8, some gaps in clouds, Moon visible through the gaps, eclipse hasn’t yet started

03:15-04:00 Stratocumulus 8/8, Moon not visible at all

04:00-04:20 Stratocumulus 7/8, Moon visible through the gaps in clouds, the shadow of the Earth visible as slight darkening in the upper left limb of the Moon, first contact.

04:20-06:30 Stratocumulus 8/8, Moon not visible at all

The total Lunar Eclipse of 27/28.9.2015 was obsuced by clouds in Turku, Finland. Photo at 02:52UT during the total eclipse.
The total Lunar Eclipse of 27/28.9.2015 was obscured by clouds in Turku, Finland. Photo at 05:52 Finnish time during the total eclipse.

The solar eclipse of March 20th 2015 was observed in Finland

  • Observed phenomena: Solar eclipse
  • Type of eclipse: Partial, 87,7%
  • Type of observation: Positive
  • Date and time: 20.3.2015; 09:05-11:17 UT
  • Observing place: Kiiminki, Oulu, Finland
  • Observing method: Photography
  • Technical information about photographing equipment: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, telescope: refractor 4”/f9.8 (L102/1000mm), AstroSolar-filter
  • Observing conditions: Clear sky most of the time

The weather forecast for the site I’m still dwelling (Kuusamo, Northeastern Finland) weren’t very promising for the eclipse day, but instead the sky was predicted to be totally clear in Oulu region (200 km southwest from Kuusamo) according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In the early hours of March 20th, I woke up and made a decision to drive to Oulu to observe the eclipse. I was driving towards Oulu when sky totally cleared up, and I decided to stay in village of Kiiminki 20km northeast of Oulu to observe the eclipse. I was observing in a parking lot of a service station/gas station in Kiiminki. The place was busy with lot’s of people, but it offered an open view towards southern sky.

The sky was totally clear during most of the duration of the eclipse. Only during late eclipse some clouds interfered a little. During maximum eclipse I could easily observe how the intensity of the light decreased, and somekind of twilight appeared. But very soon after the maximum eclipse, the lighting returned back to normal full daylight lighting. It appears to be so, that the effect of the eclipse to the lighting of the landscape and environment can be observed only in eclipses that are at least as deep as this one was (87,7%) or deeper. So, this was a succesfull attempt in observing this relatively rare natural phenomena!

I’m convinced that I made the right decision to drive 200 kilometers after the eclipse, because weather was totally cloudy here in Kuusamo according to the locals. Here’s a photo of the eclipsed Sun during the maximum eclipse.

@ 10:11 UT, maximum eclipse
@ 10:11 UT, maximum eclipse
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A series of photos showing the progress of the eclipse.

Penumbral Lunar eclipse of October 2013 was observed in Finland

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Penumbral Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 19.10.2013, 02:30-05:00
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: Variable cloudiness, clear sky during maximum eclipse
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope: L102/1000mm (4” refractor)

A penumbral Lunar eclipse was observed in Finland in 18./19.10.2013. I observed the eclipse from 02:30 to 05:00. During maximum eclipse, the penumbra was visible as a slight darkening in the southern edge of the Moon.  In the very end of the eclipse, no darkening was visible anymore. This is clearly visible from the comparison photo that I made. In this comparison photo, the left hand side photo was taken @ 02:50 during the maximum eclipse and the one in the right hand side was taken @ 04:56 when the eclipse had just ended.

Weather during the eclipse was quite variable and unstable, during the course of the eclipse, several cloudy periods with some showers happened. Luckily the sky was totally clear during the maximum eclipse and it was possible for me to observe the eclipse!

About the break of Celestial Sphere: in my last message I stated that Celestial Sphere  would be on a total break from blogging until spring 2014. But now I feel that I could write some postings every once in a while about the most interesting Celestial events and phenomena that I have been observing. But most likely I’m going to write posting quite infrequently.