Total Lunar Eclipse 20./21.1.2019

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Total Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 20./21.01.2019, 03:30-07:00 UT
Observing place: Ulvila, Finland
Observing conditions: Clear sky (1/8)
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope L80/400mm (3” refractor)

I was anticipating the total lunar eclipse of 21st of January a lot! January is typically a very cloudy month in Finland, and I was afraid of clouds ruining another eclipse. But luckily I was wrong, and the eclipse was visible very well from clear sky! I started observing the eclipse around 03.30 UT when the Moon was entering the umbra. From that moment I observed until the Moon exited the umbra around 07.00 UT.

First I observed the eclipse at my home, but I soon relocated myself to Ulvila observatory, where I observed the rest of the eclipse. Also local radio reporter came to the observatory to do a live report about the eclipse! So this time it was a success! I’m so happy that I was able to observe this eclipse, because I have had so poor luck with many eclipses during recent years.

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Picture 1. Around maximum eclipse, @ 05:19 UT.

 

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Picture 2. Progres of the eclipse shown as a serie of photos.
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Picture 3. Combination of three photos showing roughly the outline of Earth’s shadow.
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Total Lunar Eclipse 27./28.7.2018

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Total Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 27./28.07.2018, 21:09-22:30 UT
Observing place: Säkylä, Finland
Observing conditions: Clear sky (1/8)
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope L80/400mm (3” refractor) + Canon FTb

Finally I was lucky with observing a total lunar eclipse! I had seen my previous total lunar eclipse in 2007, but I did’t have any proper camera back then and I was just visually enjoying the eclipse. After this eclipse, I had tried several times to observe and photograph a total lunar eclipse, but without luck. So until July 2018, I hadn’t seen any total lunar eclipse in 11 years and I hadn’t been able to photograph any total lunar eclipse!

But that was about to change in the night between 27th and 28th of July 2018! But even then, clouds tried to ruin my observations! My original plan was to observe the eclipse near Turku, Finland, but for some reason clouds appeared in the southern horizon, where the Moon should have been visible! After gazing the sky I made my conclusions, and I decided that I won’t let clouds ruin also this eclipse, and I started driving north from Turku, where the cloud situation was better. I drove about 100 km north from Turku to Säkylä, where I finally spotted the eclipsed Moon!

I parked my car in a bus stop and started to take photos! I was in a rush because I arrived in my observing place in the last minutes of totality. But I was barely able to see totally eclipsed Moon and take some photos during last moments of totality! After a while, Moon started to exit umbra. I was able to take a series of photos showing the eclipse from 3rd contact to 4th contact, which means, from the moment, when the Moon started exiting the umbra to the moment when the Moon was touching the umbra for last time before completely exiting the umbra.

I’m so happy that I was finally able to observe and photograph a total lunar eclipse!

Here you can see my photos from the eclipse:

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Totally eclipsed Moon @ 21.15 UT. Third contact, the Moon had just started to exit the umbra. Left side edge of the Moon had already started to exit the umbra, not the light fringe at the left side edge of the Moon.
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A series of photos showing the progress of the eclipse from third to fourth contact.

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!

 

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

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.