The Lunar Eclipses in Luxembourg
in the Years 2007/2008
After more than 2 years without any total lunar eclipse, there were again 2 of them in 2007 : one in the night from 3rd to 4th of March, and one on 28th of August. Unfortunately, the one in August was during light day in Europe, so that we weren't able to watch it here. But on March 3 & 4, we were fully in the show, and even the weather was playing the game this time ...
Almost like to compensate for August 28, there was another total lunar eclipse on February 21, 2008. This one took place in the early morning, before the moonset. But despite the perfect weather during the days before, it was raining again at the eve, and the chances to see the eclipse were really tiny :-( ...
And we'll have to wait until December 2010 for the next total lunar eclipse !
February 21, 2008
In the late evening of February 20, the sky was free and so I prepared for an observation during the night.
When the moon entered the umbra around 2:40 a.m., there were again lots of clouds, uncovering the moon for seconds while hiding it for minutes. Not really fun ! Additionally, some fog was rising, which didn't make things better.
A quarter of an hour before totality, everything was close, nothing to see anymore. Going home for sleeping ...
Night from 3rd to 4th of March 2007
Great ! After the really bad weather during the last days (uhmm, during the whole winter, in fact ...), we had the chance that the skies were rather clear tonight. And as the moon was standing high in the sky, the surrounding buildings were not disturbing, so that I could install on the terrace behind my house for the observation.
During the phase from entering earth's shadow until totality, the moon was visible all the time. The red glow already appeared on the lower part when the moon was covered to 3 quarters only. Looked very good, especially through binoculars.
When totality of the eclipse was reached, there were some slight clouds coming up, covering the moon from time to time. During cloud-free times, our satellite was rather clear, with a light orange/brown colour.
A few minutes later, the clouds had thickened, so that the moon wasn't visible any more until the mid of the eclipse. Then the sky freed up again, and the most beautiful part was fully visible again : the end of totality, when the first bright sun's rays hit the left side of the moon again.
The growing sickle of the moon was again more and more covered by clouds, and the 4th contact, when the moon left the shadow of the earth, was completely hidden again. And my feet were frozen ...
The eclipse data for Luxembourg can be found in this table.
All times are Luxembourg local time !
For other regions, you can calculate the times using geographical coordinates with the U.S. Naval Observatory Computer.
A total lunar eclipse can be as beautiful as this.
This picture has been taken in Japan on July 16, 2000.
Wanna see more fantastic shots like this ?
Have a look at AstroArts !
All kind of information about eclipses can be found on the website of Fred Espenak, the 'eclipse guru' at NASA.
To watch eclipses live at the internet, you can visit Klipsi's site.
Interested in astronomy ? Visit the site of the Amateur Astronomers of Luxembourg