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Total Lunar Eclipse April 5th by Edwin Rodley

posted Apr 7, 2015, 2:55 AM by Stephen Chadwick

The weather in Wellington was not looking too promising during the day and into the evening - severe wind gusts and clouds had left me thinking that there was no chance of seeing the eclipse. By 10pm at night the weather had cleared up, the wind had gone away and it was clear, calm and warm. I knew I was in for a late night of observing.

I caught up with family on the Kapiti Coast in the early evening, then I called by Robin Warnes’ place, hoping that the sky would clear up that way so we could observe the eclipse. It was a good move as Robin had his 12” Dobinson set-up. I had brought my binoculars and camera.

We had to contend with patchy clouds and mosquitos, but we managed to watch the eclipse progress and were able to see the colours, the views with the binoculars were great, and the view through the Barlow on the 12” Dob was really clear as we watched the Earth’s shadow move across the moon.

This eclipse was advertised as the shortest total lunar eclipse. According to Sky and Telescope it may have only been a 99.9%, not a total eclipse. We watched with interest near totally, but we saw a slight bit of the moon in sunlight.

It was a great eclipse to stay up late for, and with daylight savings time ending that same morning, it made me extra tired the next day. My wife wasn’t too impressed to be woken up at 2.30am, when I snuck in the door!

By Edwin Rod