By Mario Carr
Don’t miss the September 27 lunar eclipse because the next one won’t happen until 2018.
This year, it occurs during the Harvest Moon, which is the closest Full Moon to the Autumn Equinox. The next time a lunar eclipse coincides with a Harvest Moon will be 2025. The Moon will also seem a little bigger than usual this year because it’s a supermoon.
The eclipse technically begins at 8:11 p.m. when the Full Moon touches Earth’s outer penumbral shadow. However, we won’t see anything until 9:07 p.m. when the umbral phase darkens the left edge of the Moon.
The best time to see the eclipse is during totality, which begins at 10:11 p.m. and lasts until 11:23 p.m. when Earth’s shadow darkness the entire lunar surface. It will look a deep red because of refracted sunlight from the Earth’s atmosphere.
Here are August stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Mercury is seen in the western evening twilight sky and Venus shines brightly in the eastern dawn sky. Mars is low in the eastern twilight morning sky, while Jupiter is also low in the eastern dawn sky after the middle of the month. Saturn is low in the southwest mid-evening sky setting late evening.
Sept. 12 – Sunlight reflecting off dust particles in the solar system known as Zodiacal Light can be seen for the next two weeks in the dawn sky.
Sept. 18 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission, door prizes and everybody is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods would be appreciated.
Also on this date, the crescent Moon will be extremely close to Saturn in the evening sky.
Sept. 19 – Observe the Moon Public Stargazing Night , T.B.McQuesten Park
1199 Upper Wentworth St, Hamilton, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sept. 21 – Venus will be at its greatest brightness in the morning sky. There will also be a First Quarter Moon.
Sept. 23 – Autumn officially begins at 4:21 a.m.
For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at http://www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.
Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarioCCarr