Over the moon: Spectacular viewing of total lunar eclipse

This coming Wednesday (15th June), there will be a total lunar eclipse with Spain, and in particular the area east of Málaga,  being one of the best vantage points in the world to observe the complete cycle.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts its shadow on the full moon, blocking the sun’s rays which otherwise reflect off the moon’s surface. Some indirect sunlight will still pierce through, to give the moon an eerie hue.

Image credit: (cc) alexindigo

The eclipse itself, when the moon will slowly turn from bright silver into a dark red globe, will last for one hour and 41 minutes, although the entire process will last for more than five hours.  The eclipsed Moon can often appear a coppery colour at totality due to sunlight being refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere, but airborne ash from the recent eruptions of volcanoes in Iceland and Chile, as well as existing airborne pollution, will add to the darkening effect.

The maximum eclipse will be at 10.41 pm, when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, to cover the moon with its shadow.

The good news is that unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are completely safe to watch. You don’t need any kind of protective filters. You can watch the lunar eclipse with nothing more than your own two eyes. An ordinary pair of binoculars will help magnify the view and will make the red coloration brighter and easier to see.

This should be a spectacular sight, especially as there is so little light pollution here in the Spanish countryside (el campo).

In case you are somewhere in the world where you cannot view the total lunar eclipse in person, you can view it here, including one broadcast live from Spain!

Where will you be watching from?

Whilst you´re here, why not have a look at:

Coast, Villages or Countryside: The Open Countryside

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