Penumbral lunar eclipse

  • January 7, 2020

Shadows forms when light shines upon an object. Although it’s a simple concept, the shadow volume (depth) behind that object create incredible phenomena.

One of the best examples of this or observer this from comfort of your home are annual solar and lunar eclipses. Almost half of the world observe astronomical gift of nature Solar Eclipse last month and end 2019. And now to kick start our 2020 we have lunar eclipse coming on 10 January. AFMs (Followers of AstronomyForMe) are you ready???

Before we observe, let’s gain some background knowledge about this Penumbral Lunar Eclipse…

what is Penumbra Lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse occurs only when the moon is full and when it passes through part of the Earth’s shadow. Astronomers describe shadow of volume (shadow of earth) in terms of umbra and penumbra. (Note: The umbra is the darkest part of the shadow while the penumbra is the lighter portion on the edges.)

There are 3 main types of Solar Eclipses Penumbral lunar eclipse when moon passes through earth’s penumbra. And Partial and total eclipses (occur when the moon passes through the earth’s umbra.)

This month’s Lunar Eclipse is Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, so let’s talk about that in details. Penumbra derives from Latin word “paene” means almost which connect with umbra means shadow. So Penumbra means “Almost shadow” or “hangs on the shadow”. “Penumbra” was coined by a German astronomer and mathematician, Johannes Kepler in 1604. During Penumbra Lunar Eclipse you can observe dark shading on the moon (hard to notice change if the sky condition is bad).

Things you should know about 10 January Lunar eclipse

  1. 10 th January Penumbral Lunar eclipse starts at 17:08 UT (22:37 IST, 10 JAN) and Ends 21:12 UT (2:42 IST, 11 JAN) , the point of greatest eclipse occurring at 19:10 UT (00:40 IST, 11 JAN).
  2. Eclipse will be visible from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Much of North America, and East in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Arctic.
  3. Total duration of eclipse will be is 4 hours, 5 minutes.
  4. Maximum eclipse will almost cover 90% of the moon.
  5. The magnitude of the eclipse is -0.116 and the penumbral magnitude of the eclipse is 0.895.
  6. (Note: For more regular details about this month’s lunar eclipse follow AstronomyForMe social media accounts. )

Now let’s talk about how efficiently we can observe the penumbra lunar Eclipse. Some tips …

  • The best way to secure a positive observation of the 10 January eclipse is to use a camera and capture the subtle darkening of the Moon’s surface by combining views from different times. It’ll be the southern portion of the Moon’s disc that moves deepest into the penumbra and it’s here that the shadow will appear darkest.
  • The best advice for photographing a lunar eclipse is to take lots of pictures at many different exposures. You never know just how bright your subject is going to be, and with a digital camera it won't cost anything to experiment to find the best exposures for your particular setup.The shortest exposures are useful only during the partial stages near the very beginning and end of the eclipse
  • This is not strictly photography equipment, but it’s good to observe the eclipse and enjoy it. A simple 8×40 binocular will allow you a totally immersive, 3D-like experience. Wide angle lenses are great to portrait the lunar eclipse.
  • DSLR

  • DSLR
    • Any camera will do, as long as you can use a long focal length lens. Low light and high ISO performance are not much of an issue here. Cameras with crop sensors have an advantage here. They fill the frame better at any given focal length than full frame cameras.
    • Get your camera to shoot in RAW. Next, consider using an ISO value of about 400 or 800. The Moon will get quite dark and you don’t want to risk motion blur with long exposures. Especially if you are not tracking its movement while using a telephoto lens. If you are on a tripod, remember to disable any image stabilization. As for aperture, I rarely go wider than f/5.6.
    • White balance should be set to sunlight. By shooting in RAW you will be able to adjust it during the editing.
    • (Note: You can apply this tips by attaching you DSLR with telescope)
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  • Mobile Phone
    • Turn on the HDR mode to get more overall details in the photos and also Turn off flash on your phone completely. It will ruin your photos
    • Focus on the moon and lock the camera focuses on it only
    • Opt for Burst mode to get the best possible images
    • lways use the pro-mode of the camera to have better control over exposure, white balance and shutter speed
    • Do not rely much on the zoom of your smartphone and never use maximum zoom. Instead use zoom accessories
    • (Note: You can apply this tips by attaching you MobilePhone with telescope)