A full lunar eclipse (hopefully) in the Netherlands

A full lunar eclipse (hopefully) in the Netherlands

The beginning of the lunar eclipse.ANP . image

If all goes well, you can see how the moon turns from 5.29 to 5.47 when it ends up in the Earth’s shadow. A total lunar eclipse marks the moment when the Earth slips between the sun and the moon, so that our planet blocks the sunlight that normally falls on our cosmic companion.

By the way, the first stages of a lunar eclipse begin much earlier, when the shadow takes its first bite from the moon. That bite is getting bigger and bigger, until 5:29 the full moon is diving into the shadows.

The actual period the Moon then resides in that Earth’s shadow is much longer than the (large) quarter of an hour we can see. The so-called “college” lasts until 6.55. Unfortunately, the moon over our country sets earlier, so that only a shorter viewing time remains below the line.

No need for glasses

The fact that the moon is still visible during an eclipse is that light continues to reach its surface. However, this light makes its way to the surface of the Moon through the Earth’s atmosphere. And light that travels a long way through that atmosphere turns red. You see the same effect with sunset. So it is the Earth that paints the moon red, not the moon itself that changes color.

Anyone wishing to view the eclipse does not need goggles or special equipment. Your eyes — or binoculars for those who want to see more detail — suffice. If you miss this opportunity, you will have to wait a few years until the next total lunar eclipse. Another image can be seen on September 7, 2025, even though the moon is not entirely on its way through the Earth’s shadow. The next complete eclipse, which can be seen from start to finish over the Netherlands, will not be until December 20, 2029.

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