Ever since man's first appearance on this planet, eclipses have been regarded as both mystical and devine with some cultures, for example,
associating a lunar eclipse with the imminent arrival of death, war and/or famine. Although the distance of the moon and sun from earth vary
dramatically (400,000 vs 150,000,000 km, respectively), the apparent size of these two heavenly bodies is such that they give the impression
during an eclipse, solar or lunar, to be virtually identical (ie. about 30 arc-minutes in angular size). A total eclipse represents the
unique occurrence in space and time where the sun, moon and earth are perfectly alligned as three collinear points on the same orbital plane.
When the collinearity is not perfect but one of these three bodies is slightly higher or lower in the plane, we have a partial eclipse. Of
course, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon lies perfectly between the sun and the earth, thus eclipsing the solar disk. In contrast, a
lunar eclipse occurs when the earth lies between the sun and moon and, thus, the moon is hidden by the earth's shadow.
Although total lunar eclipses are stunning events, partial eclipses involving the earth's penumbra and umbra are often considered non-events and not worthy of observation since the minute changes in the apparent magnitude of the moon are barely visible to the ground-based observer. However, as indicated by the image below, even a partial eclipse can provide an impressive visual display.
Note: For the maximum partial totality, click here.
(Start of Totality)
(End of Totality)
0.0123 x Earth
Mean Eq Diameter:
0.2719 x Earth
27d 07h 43m 11s
14d 18h 17m
Aug 16-17, 2008
22:30:00 - 01:50:00 UT+3
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
Canon EOS 300D
9 x (1/250 - 1/30 sec)
RAW image format
3072x2048 image size
Digital Photo Pro V188.8.131.52
RAW to TIFF (16-bit) Conv
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