Monday, 28 September 2015

'Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse

The Raptor took this picture of the full moon at 10.30 last night, well before the time of the eclipse. The moon moves in an elliptical orbit round the Earth and, last night, was at its perigee and unusually close to us, so seemed far bigger in the sky.

By 3am, when I was out with my camera, it looked as if the local weather was going to spoil the event, so I went back to bed but....

....the Raptor, being made of sterner stuff, kept up his vigil and took this picture of the 'blood moon' at 3am.

At this point, the moon was entirely within the Earth's shadow, but the rays of the sun were refracted by the atmosphere so some lit the moon. Since the rays at the red end of the spectrum are more scattered, as at a sunrise or sunset, the moon is lit with red light.

The Raptor's picture at 3.15am shows the moon moving back into the full light of the sun.

One consequence of the moon's proximity to Earth are some unusually high tides, with tides of 5.2m at Tobermory in the early evenings both today and tomorrow - picture here shows this morning's sunrise, with Glas Eilean visibly an island shortly after high tide.

Many thanks indeed to the Raptor for his pictures.


  1. Glad you were able to see it, it was overcast here in Pennsylvania.

  2. Notice the two stars to the left of the Raptor's eclipse photographs; They show how the moon has moved eastward in its orbit over the time between the two photographs.