Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday January 20

Alt text1
Composite picture of the total lunar eclipse on January 31 2018 as seen from Australia. Courtesy of Blue Print Photography for RAC website.

Rochester Astronomy Club is planing public observing event from 9 PM at History Center of Olmstead County, see

The first full moon of 2019 will be a great opportunity for observing a total lunar eclipse. The Moon will almost be at its closest distance to the Earth, close to the perigeum, which means it will be slightly bigger, and such an occurrence is called a Super-Moon.

The penumbral eclipse will start at 8:36 PM CST 38 degrees above horizon, and this moment is not easy to detect by the naked eye. On a series of images, the progress of Earth’s outer shadow on the lunar disc could be detected. The partial eclipse will begin at 9:33:54 PM at height 48 degrees, and this moment will be easy to notice. It will be possible to see the progress of the full Earth shadow and at 10:41 PM all the disc will be eclipsed, the full eclipse having started. The eclipse maximum will be at 11:12 PM and the full eclipse ends at 11:43 PM. Duration of totality will be 1 hour 1 minute 58 seconds. At about midnight only the fully illuminated sliver will be seen, rest of disc will be still in shadow. Partial eclipse will end at 12:50 AM. Moon will be in its highest point 24 minutes after midnight almost 66 degrees above horizon passing local meridian.   The shadow density and color depends on the current meteorological situation.

The full moon will be in the constellation Cancer, about 12 degrees from the Beehive star cluster. It will be a great opportunity to take pictures of the Beehive and the eclipsed Moon.


Click for full resolution
Lunar Eclipse 1/20/19 in the constellation Cancer 12 deg from the star cluster M44. Picture from Stellarium
P1 Penumbral Eclipse begins Jan 20 at 8:36:29 pm
U1 Partial Eclipse begins Jan 20 at 9:33:54 pm
U2 Full Eclipse begins Jan 20 at 10:41:17 pm
Max Maximum Eclipse Jan 20 at 11:12:14 pm
U3 Full Eclipse ends Jan 20 at 11:43:15 pm
U4 Partial Eclipse ends Jan 21 at 12:50:39 am
P4 Penumbral Eclipse ends Jan 21 at 1:48:02 am

Previous lunar eclipse of the series Saros 134 occurred 6585.3211 days before on January 9, 2001, and next lunar eclipse of the series Saros 134 will occur in 6585.3211 days (18 years 11.3211 days) on January 31, 2037.