Sunday, May 15, 2022

AIR day 7 - item 1

The following is a blog post from the Astronomer-In-Residence (AIR) web site, reproduced here with permission.

Day 7 blog entry.

Sun 15 May 2022: Lunar eclipse facts.

A lunar eclipse is completely safe to view with your eyes, binoculars, and telescope (where a solar eclipse is dangerous and requires specialty filters).

Lunar eclipses are made possible by the perfect alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon–in that order. The Earth, in the middle, blocks some of the light reaching the Moon causing it to dim.

See if you can spot the Milky Way and many stars in the sky, normally not visible during a bright full Moon.

Lunar eclipses often are “colourful” events where the Earth’s atmosphere reddens some of the sunlight that reaches the Moon.

It’s easy to photograph a lunar eclipse with your DSLR camera. Use a zoom lens so the Moon is not too small. Use your tripod to keep the camera steady. Use the self-timer set for 2 or 10 seconds to reduce vibration from your hand. Start with a 1/100th of a second and go from there. As the light level changes through the lunar eclipse, you’ll want to check the exposures and adjust accordingly.

The Moon is approximately 359400 km from the Earth tonight. This is about the closest it gets to the Earth. That means it is a little bigger in the sky and a little brighter but that’s difficult to discern with just your eye. A close Moon can make for bigger tides too. This is all because the Moon’s orbit is an ellipse and not a perfect circle.

The Sun is 150 000 000 km away from the Earth.

This lunar eclipse might be a deeper red due to the Tonga volcano.

The Astronomer-In-Residence program is coordinated by the Allan I Carswell Observatory (AICO) at York University with the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory (KPPO).

No comments: