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Picture of the Day - Blue Moon Eclipse

Published by Matt on Sat Jan 2, 2009 6:02 pm via: APOD
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The International Year of Astronomy 2009 ended with a Blue Moon and a partial lunar eclipse, as the second Full Moon of December grazed the Earth’s shadow on December 31st.

New Year's Eve Blue Moon eclipse. Credit: Jean Paul Roux

New Year's Eve Blue Moon eclipse. Credit: Jean Paul Roux

The New Year’s Eve Blue Moon eclipse was visible throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of Alaska, captured in this two exposure composite in cloudy skies over Saint Bonnet de Mure, France. Playing across the Moon’s southern reaches, the edge of Earth’s umbra, or dark central shadow, appears on the right side along with the prominent ray crater Tycho. At maximum eclipse, the umbra covered only about 8 percent of the diameter of the lunar disk.

This really is an awesome picture! I didn't know that there was a partial lunar eclipse during this blue moon, but just the moon itself was absolutely breathtaking from Vienna during the early hours of the evening (unfortunately there was a thick cloud cover and a lot of fog later during the night). It somehow appeared to be much larger than normal although I have no idea if this was because of atmospheric conditions or just a trick of my mind. I do now however that it was quite difficult to concentrate on the traffic ahead of me while constantly looking at the fantastic blue moon overhead ;).
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