Sep 15

Total Eclipse of the Harvest Moon

Source: NASA Science Casts

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Nov 12

Proba-2 soaks up three solar eclipses

Source: ESA

The total solar eclipse of 13/14 November 2012.
Image credits: Anik De Groof.

ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 satellite experienced three partial solar eclipses last night while lucky observers watching from northern Australia were treated to a total solar eclipse.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon moves in front of the Sun as seen from Earth, their alignment and separation such that the much closer Moon appears large enough to block out the light from the much more distant Sun.

Since Proba-2 orbits Earth about 14.5 times per day, it can dip in and out of the Moon’s shadow around the time of a solar eclipse. The constant change in viewing angle of Proba-2 meant that the satellite passed through the shadow three times during the eclipse yesterday, as shown in the video presented here.

As the Sun was never completely covered up from Proba-2’s vantage point, each eclipse was only partial.  (read more)

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Jun 11

Total Lunar Eclipse visible all over Europe.

A total lunar eclipse took place on June 15, 2011. This was a relatively rare central lunar eclipse, in which the center point of Earth's shadow passes across the Moon.

The path of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011.
Image credit: Tom Ruen / Wikipedia

The eclipse was visible all over Europe and in several other parts of the world. The path of the lunar eclipse is shown bellow.

Visibility map of the Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011.
Image credit: Fred Espenak / NASA / Wikipedia

Pictures have been taken all over Europe. We present you some of them bellow. Fortunately, this time the weather has cooperated with all interested observers. The eclipse schedule also allowed children all over Europe to observe the eclipse with their parents.

The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve.
Image credit: Alexandre Costa


A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Algarve.
Image credit: Alexandre Costa


The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in The Czech Republic.
Image credit: Wespecz/Wikipedia


A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Montalbán de Cordoba, Spain.
Image credit: Hameryko/Wikipedia.


A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Malta.
Image credit: Leonard E. Mercer.


A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Hungary.
Image credit: Gestrgangleri/Wikipedia.


A close-up of the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th, 2011, in Pisa, Italy.
Image credit: @UgoRom via Twitter


This eclipse was the first of two such eclipses in 2011. The second will occur on December 10, 2011.

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Jun 11

Don't miss the total lunar eclipse tonight

Tonight there will be a full Moon and a total lunar eclipse! We'll get a good view across Europe because the Moon starts to move into the Earth's shadow in early evening so this will be great for observations even with children.

The first lunar eclipse of 2011 occurs at the Moon's ascending node in southern Ophiuchus about 7° west of the Lagoon Nebula (M8). The Moon passes deeply through Earth's umbral shadow during this rather long event. The total phase itself lasts 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The Moon's contact times with Earth's umbral and penumbral shadows are listed below.

  • Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 17:24:34 UT
  • Partial Eclipse Begins: 18:22:56 UT
  • Total Eclipse Begins: 19:22:30 UT
  • Greatest Eclipse: 20:12:37 UT
  • Total Eclipse Ends: 21:02:42 UT
  • Partial Eclipse Ends: 22:02:15 UT
  • Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 23:00:45 UT

Click on the image to see a complete information sheet about the eclipse by Fred Espenak.


When totality begins the moon is expected to take on a reddish glow. It's a stunning sight and yep, you can look directly at it with no problem of hurting your eyes. It will be fun to take some pictures. If you want to, you can send them to us and we will publish them on our website.

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May 11

A Rare Eclipse of the Midnight Sun

Source: NASA

A "midnight Sun" eclipse photographed by Oddleiv Skilbrei in northern Sweden on July 31, 2000.

A solar eclipse in the middle of the night? Yes, it can happen. Sky watchers in the Arctic will witness such an event on June 1st when the Moon partially eclipses the midnight sun.(read more)

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Apr 11

Effect of solar eclipse on microbes

Source: Shriyan A, Bhat AM, Nayak N. Effect of solar eclipse on microbes. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2011 [cited 2011 Apr 19];3:154-7. Available from: http://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2011/3/1/154/76498

A study about the effect of solar eclipses took place in India on 15 th January, 2010. It was a total eclipse in some parts of the country, while it was a partial eclipse in other parts. Since microorganisms play an important role in various phenomena on Earth, the study was undertaken to know the influence of solar eclipse on nature indirectly, by analyzing certain genotypic and phenotypic variations in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Since yeast have similar gene expression as that of human beings, investigations were pursued on Candida albicans as well as the study of the effect of solar eclipse on cultures of Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella species, Escherichia coli, and C. albicans that were performed in laboratory.

There was significant change observed during exposure to normal sunlight and eclipse phase. Bacterial colonies showed difference in morphology on smear examination and sensitivity pattern during this study. One fungal species and three bacterial isolates were studied and changes were recorded. Fungal species showed a definite change in their morphology on exposure to sunlight during eclipse observed by stained smear examination from broth, plate, and slant. This study concludes that blocking of the sun rays during eclipse does not harm prokaryotes and eukaryotes, instead promoted the progeny of predators in the race of better acclimatization and survival in the natural and changing environmental conditions.(read more)

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Jan 11

Say Hello to Astronomy evening from Bray Ireland and a Partial Solar Eclipse from Greystones Beach by Deirdre Kelleghan

Tony Jackson and Sean Stanley from St Cronans School show their sketches of Orion and its wonderful nebula M42

January 3rd I held an almost impromptu star party for the new astronomy group attached to St Conan’s National School in Bray Co Wicklow. The group is so new it has not got a name yet so for the moment we will call it St Conan’s Young Astronomers. About 50 children and adults arrived at the green Sans Souci Wood, a very cold evening for stargazing.

On offer the sky had a very close conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus plus the Galilean moons in the same view.   Jupiter and Uranus will not be this close again till 2024 .The magnificent winter constellation Orion the hunter rising over Sans Souci House was impressive even in the slight haze.  The star forming cloud M42 in the sword of the Orion was a prime target.   Several other messier objects and constellations got a run out.

Parents and children lined up to see the largest planet in our solar system shine and show off in the sky over Bray.  As part of the experience I encouraged some of the children to draw Orion and its nebula after they had seen it in the large binoculars. Four of the boys did a great job on the sketches Sean Stanley, Kevin Morley, Sam Ferrie and Tony Jackson. We were joined by several enthusiastic neighbours and friends all braved the cold to learn a little appreciation for the night sky.

Partial Solar Eclipse South Beach Greystones Co Wicklow

January 4th a fantastic sunrise greeted the families and individuals who turned up at the beach at 08:30 hours. The solar disc was already partially eclipsed as it rose over the sea in-between thin gray cloud slivers.  Some of the St Cronan’s boys arrived with their parents to see this phenomenon.

Random dog walkers were delighted to be taken by surprise and handed special eclipse glasses
to view the event.  Smiles all around beamed from the golden sun splashed faces. The attendees sported trendy eclipse glasses provided to me by NASA Goddard. There were hollers and woops!!! of delight from both kids and adults (including me) as the moon appeared to slide over the left hand side of the rising sun.

The colours created by the sun seemed to warm the winter and bring joy with every passing minute to our motley gathering by the sea.

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Jan 11

Sun, Moon and Earth line up for Proba-2

Source:  ESA

ESA’s Proba-2 microsatellite experienced a conjunction of the spheres on Tuesday, as the Sun, Moon and Earth all lined up in front of it.

Artist's impression of Proba witnessing the the Solar eclipse created by Earth and Moon.
Image credits: ESA/ S. Corvaja

As people on the ground observed the 4 January partial solar eclipse, Proba-2 provided a privileged top-of-atmosphere view – at least briefly. Shortly after the Moon partially blocked Proba-2’s view of the Sun, the Sun-watching satellite flew into Earth’s shadow. At that point the Sun, Moon, Earth and Proba-2 were all on the same line in space.  (read more)

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Jan 11

January 4th Partial Solar Eclipse

Europe woke up on January 4th waiting for the announced total eclipse. Though some good images could be acquired by making pictures of the eclipse, in most of the places the Sun couldn't be seen due to clouds in the sky.

Here we present some images about the solar eclipse in different places around Europe.

The eclipse in Bucareste.
Image credit: Eugen Simion.

The eclipse in Slovakia.
Image credit: Eston.

the eclipse seen from Turku, Finland.
Image credit: Sakari Ekko.

The eclipse between clouds seen from the South of Portugal.
Image credit: Alexandre Costa and students.

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Dec 10

Solar Eclipse on January 4th, 2011

A partial solar eclipse

After almost all Europe missed the Total Lunar Eclipse on December 21st, 2010, European teachers have new chance on the first Tuesday of next year. On January 4th, 2011, a partial eclipse of the Sun will be widely visible across Europe and as far east as India (view the following NASA's animation to see the areas where the eclipse will be most visible).

Animation of the solar eclipse. Image credit: NASA/GSFC

A partial solar eclipse occurs in the polar regions of the Earth when the center of the moon's shadow misses the Earth.

Solar eclipse map of path on earth. Image credit: NASA/GSFC

Once again project Moonwalkers will make a follow-up of this eclipse and will upload on the website all works that are sent to the archive's email (eaae.moon@gmail.com).

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Dec 10

Total Lunar Eclipse - December 21st, 2010

For almost four centuries a total lunar eclipse hasn't coincided with the December solstice, called the Winter Solstice in Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in Southern Hemisphere.  If weather conditions allowed a clear view of the sky Western Europe could see the first stages of the eclipse before moonset. On the rest of the world people from North America, Greenland and Iceland could see the entire event, and western Asia and Australia got the end of the eclipse after moonrise.

Many beautiful images were posted on the Internet by many lucky astronomers that had the weather cooperating with them.

Sequence from Toronto, Ontario. Sequence is in 15 minute increments, with 5 minute increments up until totality at 8:17am UTC. Image credit: Tom Ruen/Wikipedia.

Space shuttle Discovery waits to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the early morning hours of Dec 21, 2010, with the beginning of the total lunar eclipse clearly in view.  Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

In the majority of European countries where there was a possibilty of seeing the  eclipse the bad weather made it impossible to be seen. This was my case. As shown bellow in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, where it usually never rains, the climate has gone mad and it as been raining a lot during the hole last week and this week also. So it was very cloudy at the time the eclipse might have been seen.

The clouds over Algarve, Portugal, looking towards the direction where the Moon should be at 08h15min (UTC).
Image credit: EAAE/Alexandre Costa.

Luckily, this was not general. Some images can already be found on the internet about the event in Europe. For instance Stu Atkinson has described his experience viewing this eclipse in the UK on his blog.

Lunar Eclipse  seen from Kendal Castle, Cumbria, UK. Image credit: Stu Atkinson/Cumbrian Sky.
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Dec 10

Total lunar eclipse is coming on December 21st

Very early in the morning of December 21st, Europe will see the Moon's appearance change due to a total lunar eclipse. The Moon will become colourful from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray. The total lunar eclipse will begin when the moon moves into Earth's penumbral shadow on December 21st, 2010 at 5h29min (UTC).

This eclipse's maximum will occur at 08h17min (UTC) which means it will be early in the morning and that it will be visible at moonset in most western Europe. In America it will occur in the middle of the night and the Moon will be high above the horizon. The eclipse occurs as the moon passes through the northern portion of Earth's shadow, just four days before perigee, when the moon is closest to Earth.

The Lunar Eclipse of December 21st.
Image credit: Tom Ruen / Wikipedia

The EAAE's project Moonwalkers brings a new  challenge to school teachers and to all educators in general. Students and teachers are invited to share every kind of observations of the Moon that make and we will present your reports pictures or drawings on our webpage with due credit.

Lunar Eclipse - September 2007

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Jan 10

Solar Eclipse seen from Space

Source: ESA

The annular solar eclipse on 15 January 2010 was observed by the Sun-imaging SWAP (Sun Watcher using APS detectors and imaging processing) instrument on ESA's Proba-2.

The solar Eclipse on January 15th seen by the sattelite Proba-2. Credits: ESA/ROB

This is the same solar eclipse observed on the ground from Africa and Asia, the longest eclipse of the new millennium. It is termed 'annular' because the Moon is further away from the Earth than during a total eclipse, so only part of the Sun is covered. (read more)

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Jan 10

Annular Eclipse on Southeastern Countries

Source: Wikipedia

On January 15th there was an annular eclipse, but it wasn't visible from the majority of the European territories.

Cropped image of full annular solar eclipse as seen in Bangui, Central African Republic at 05:19:04 GMT (6:19 a.m. local time). The bottom 'noise' are clouds. Source: Wikimedia; Author: Tino Kreutzer.

The eclipse was visible as only partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It was seen as annular eclipse within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala (India), South Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka and parts of Bangladesh, Burma and China.

This was the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium, with a maximum length of 11 mins and 7.8 seconds.

The next eclipse that will be longer than this one will occur on December 23rd, 3043. (read more)

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Jan 10

A Lunar Eclipse on New Year's Eve

Source: Wikipedia

A partial lunar eclipse was visible on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009. It was the last and largest of four minor lunar eclipses in 2009.

The eclipse was only seen in southern latitudes and therefore not seen in Europe. (read more)

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