Total Lunar Eclipse 2018 July 28
The longest total lunar eclipse this century occurred on 2018 July 28 starting (umbral phase) just around 4:20 am local time - magnitude of 1.609, providing 1hr43m of totality beginning at 5:30 am. As totality occurred in the western sky I wanted to have a view of the eclipse over the buildings of Melbourne, so I chose Prince's Bridge as a suitable location. Observation of the entire eclipse was not possible since the moon had just passed totality when it set at 7:30 am.
When I arrived at 4am I had the bridge to myself, but as the partial phases progressed, more and more observers arrived until the area was abuzz with activity as totality began. I enjoyed discussing the event with curious on-lookers and the atmosphere was quite festive despite the early hour of the day. Most importantly the skies were largely free of cloud.
|04:31 AEST, the moon has clearly started to move into the Earth's umbral shadow|
|05:15 AEST, 15 minutes before totality.|
|05:29 AEST, moments before totality. Note the bluish colouration on lower limb due to light reaching the moon through the Earth's ozone layer.|
|05:39 AEST, totality has begun. The view down the Yarra River. Here's a closer view.|
|06:21 AEST, the moon is deeper into the umbra, but now lower in the sky. Mars is upper left and several stars of Capricornus are also visible lower right of the moon. A closer view.|
|06:45 AEST, morning twilight has begun. A closer view.|
|06:58 AEST, morning twilight is lightening the scene further. The moon remains totally eclipsed and is fading from view as it sinks in the west. Mars is upper left. A closer view.|
|07:03 AEST, the totally eclipsed moon fades from view.|