4 April total Lunar Eclipse: report and podcast from an amazing event
The sky did not fail, once again, to amaze all of us, last 4 April. That day, a lunar eclipse was expected. It was mainly announced as a grazing total one: the full coverage of our satellite by the Earth’s shadow was only marginal, to the point that a number of subtle issues, usually neglected when the totality is generously deep, had this time an important role. The exact shape of the Earth was a key factor, for example. So, observation of the real outcome of the eclipse was of particular interest.
In addition, this eclipse happened during Global Astronomy Month 2015, as this April (for the 7th time in a row since 2010) has been called by Astronomers Without Borders, an international organization making a giant effort to share the wonders of the cosmos despite and conventional limit (a mission the Virtual Telescope strongly supports!).
At Virtual Telescope we wanted to share it live with the world, but the event was not visible from our robotic facility in Italy. So, once again, we managed to make a great team, which I love to call the “Cosmic Team“: a number of experienced imagers, willing to share their love for the sky, placed all around the planet and ready to capture images of the eclipse and send them in real time to me, going to push them into our live feed. We had observers in Canada, North America, Central America and Australia.
Some of the observers were not lucky: the weather at their sites was cloudy, so they could not see the eclipse. The lucky (and generous!) observers where, in scattered order: Dean Hooper (Melbourne, Australia), Chris Stockdale (Melbourne, Australia), Ron Delvaux (Arizona, USA), Gary Varney (Florida, USA), James McCue (New Mexico, USA), Joaquin Fabrega Polleri (Panama), Marcy Malavasi (Costa Rica) and Andrew Wall (South Australia, Australia).
Below are a few images received during the live coverage by our team of observers and they bring to you the amazing emotion and elegance of the lunar eclipse.
As you can see from all those superb images, it is not obvious if, at the very end, the eclipse was total or not. There was quite a lot of interesting discussions about this, before and after the eclipse, making clear that even a popular event like this has some details making it not trivial.
Considering both the live event and the views of the podcast after it, more than 45.000 individuals from more than 100 Countries saw the eclipse via the Virtual Telescope and the great Cosmic Team! This is a great success for Global Astronomy Month 2015, too: having people from all over the planet admiring the eclipse on the Virtual Telescope platform, online, with images coming from different Countries, across borders, could it be, literally, more global?
Below if the full podcast from the live feed:
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