Museum Blog

October 2014 Lunar and Solar Eclipses

Posted 10/1/2014 12:10 AM by Marta Lindsay | Comments



  Total Lunar Eclipse
   October 8, 2014





Lunar image: © 2007 by Pedro Ré

The second total lunar eclipse of 2014 can be observed in the early morning hours of October 8. An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's shadow. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon's disk can take on a dramatically colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red and more rarely dark brown to very dark gray. One of the great things about lunar eclipses is that they are completely safe to view with the naked eye. No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. You don't even need a telescope to watch the eclipse, although a good pair of binoculars will enhance your viewing. In Denver, the Moon slips below the horizon during the last phase of the eclipse and thus, will not be visible.

The two total lunar eclipses in 2014 make up half of a four-eclipse series known as a lunar tetrad. Two more total lunar eclipses will follow, in April and September 2015 to complete the lunar eclipse tetrad.

Lunar Eclipse Phase UT MDT
Penumbral eclipse begins 08:15:33 2:15 AM
Partial eclipse begins 09:14:48 3:14 AM
Full eclipse begins 10:25:10 4:25 AM
Maximum eclipse 10:54:36 4:54 AM
Full eclipse ends 11:24:00 5:24 AM
Partial eclipse ends 12:34:21 6:34 AM
Penumbral eclipse ends 13:33:43 7:33 AM (not visible)













 Partial Solar Eclipse
  October 23, 2014






Solar image: © 2008 by Greg Hewgill

The final eclipse event of 2014 occurs on October 23with a partial solar eclipse. A solar eclipse can only occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun, and if the Moon's shadow happens to fall upon Earth's surface at that time. During a partial solar eclipse, the Moon covers only part of the Sun. Partial eclipses are dangerous to look at with the naked eye because the un-eclipsed part of the Sun is still very bright. You must use special filters to safely watch any type of solar eclipse.

The times during which the eclipse is visible from any specific location vary significantly depending where you are in the eclipse path. On October 23rd, the penumbral shadow first touches Earth’s surface near the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia. As the shadow travels east, much of North America and Canada will be treated to the eclipse. From Denver, the Moon will slowly glide across the upper portion of the Sun, obscuring 45% of the solar disk.

Solar Eclipse Phase MDT
Partial eclipse begins 3:20 PM
Maximum eclipse 4:36 PM
Partial eclipse ends 5:44 PM

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