Thursday, 9 July 2009

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on July 7, 2009

A penumbral lunar eclipse took place on July 7, 2009, the second of four lunar eclipses in 2009. This eclipse entered only the southernmost tip of the penumbral shadow and thus was predicted to be very difficult to observe visually.This is the second of the four Lunar Eclipses in 2009.

A penumbral lunar eclipse is a phenomenon in which the Sun, Earth and Moon line up in tandem, hence the Moon is in the Earth's penumbra, or, when you look from the Moon, the Sun is partially covered by the Earth (partial eclipse.) During this phenomenon, the volume of sunlight to the Moon decreases, and the Moon's surface looks darker when you look at the Moon from the Earth.

Japan's Kaguya spacecraft, which circles around the Moon on its polar orbit, can witness this phenomenon only twice a year at most and it has already captured such a view on February 10, 2009, in a geometry remarkably similar to that of yesterday's eclipse.

Here are sketch of the position of the Kaguya duirng the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and some spectacular images that are seen from the Moon to Earth.

Positions of the KAGUYA, Moon, Earth and Sun when images of the Earth-rise during the penumbral lunar eclipse

Image of the Earth by the HDTV (Tele-camera) during the penumbral lunar eclipse

Sequence images of the Earth by the HDTV (Tele-camera)during the penumbral lunar eclipse



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