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How to See The Total Eclipse of the Moon With A Telescope?

Imagine when Earth comes between the sun and the moon and the shadow of the earth falls on the moon. This darkens the moon and it happens only when the moon is full. The outer lighter shadow is called the penumbra, and the darker core is called the umbra. Penumbral shadow is hard to detect sometimes. 

A lunar eclipse starts when the umbra touches the surface of the moon. The Total Eclipse of the Moon or totality occurs when the moon is completely dark and submerged in the umbral shadow of the earth. It makes the moon reddish due to the reddish hues from sunlight that are bent by the atmosphere of the earth and filtered. The moon is bright when the upper atmosphere of the earth is transparent. Sometimes the volcanoes erupt dust and aerosols resulting in a darker eclipse of the moon. It is not dangerous to observe a total lunar eclipse like a solar eclipse. You can observe lunar eclipses with any aid or even the naked eye.

What is Eclipse of Moon?

The Eclipse of Moon, a celestial event characterized by the Moon moving into the Earth’s shadow, presents a captivating spectacle influenced by various factors. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are precisely aligned, and the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the Moon, causing it to change color, often to a reddish hue. The Earth’s atmosphere plays a significant role in this color change, as it refracts sunlight onto the Moon’s surface. The type of eclipse, be it total or partial, hinges on the Moon’s proximity to the lunar node, with total lunar eclipses boasting a magnitude greater than 1.0 and penumbral lunar eclipses exhibiting a magnitude less than 0.0. The Moon’s orbital path around the Earth is slightly tilted, which is why we don’t experience a lunar eclipse every full moon. A lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon phase when the Moon aligns with the Earth and the Sun. The lunar phase plays a pivotal role in determining the eclipse’s type, occurring during a full moon phase when the Moon aligns with the Earth and the Sun.

The L value can describe the brightness of the moon during a total eclipse or Danjon Scale. See the table with Danjon Scale values below:

Danjon Scale of Brightness
L Value
0The moon is so dark that it is almost invisible
1The eclipse is dark with brownish or gray color. The details are detectable with a little difficulty.
2The moon becomes red or rust-colored with a very dark core.
3Brick-red lunar surface with a bright umbra
4Copper red or orange moon having a core with bright blue color.

Can you see Eclipse of Moon with a telescope?

Yes, you can see the space object Eclipse of Moon with a telescope. The ideal type of telescope for this purpose is an infrared telescope, with the Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope being recommended as the best option. To ensure optimal optical quality, factors such as atmospheric conditions, telescope quality, and the moon’s position in the sky should be considered. Necessary accessories for viewing an eclipse of the moon with a telescope include solar eclipse glasses, binoculars, a telescope with a solar filter, and solar viewers. The price range for telescopes suitable for this purpose is $500 or less. The recommended magnification for viewing the eclipse of the moon with a telescope is around 50x per inch of aperture, with a maximum usable magnification of approximately 200x. The recommended aperture size is a minimum of 6 inches. The ideal focal length for observing the Eclipse of Moon with a telescope is at least 1000mm for a clear and detailed view.

Quick Guide to Observe the Total Eclipse of the Moon

Find out which night the moon will experience a total eclipse by using a lunar map. The following total lunar eclipse will occur on March 14, 2025. To figure out when the lunar eclipse will happen in your area, check your lunar map or eclipse calculator. Check the weather forecast to make sure you can see the moon eclipse that night. Locate the ideal location to view the lunar eclipse. The eclipse should be visible all night. The finest locations are those that are rural and free of city lights. Grab your telescope, and watch the anticipated lunar eclipse.

How to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon with a telescope?

Lunar eclipses can be seen at different times from different parts of the world. You can follow a lunar map to learn the night the moon is going through a total eclipse. Several lunar maps are available on google. You can also buy Sky & Telescope’s Moon Map which provides fine details of the moon including its total eclipse phase.

How to find The Total Eclipse of the Moon?

  1. Check your lunar map or eclipse calculator to find out when the lunar eclipse is going to occur in your place.
  2. Go through the weather forecast to make sure the lunar eclipse is visible on the night.
  3. Find a perfect place to observe the lunar eclipse. You should see the eclipse throughout the night. Rural places are best as they are away from city lights.
  4. Take your scope and observe the awaited lunar eclipse.

What is the best time to observe The Total Eclipse of the Moon?

The last total lunar eclipse happened on November 8, 2022. It was a thrilling experience for the skywatchers. The next total lunar eclipse is going to take place on March 14, 2025. However, meanwhile, you can see the partial eclipses of the moon. The next lunar eclipse will occur on May 5, 2023, which can be seen in Australia, Asia, and Africa.

When are the upcoming Lunar Eclipses?

Check the table below to see the upcoming dates for the Lunar Eclipses:

DateEclipse TypeVisible From
May 5, 2023PenumbralAfrica, Asia, Australia
October 28, 2023PartialAmericas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia
March 25, 2024PenumbralAmericas
September 18, 2024PartialAmericas, Europe, Africa
March 14, 2025TotalPacific, Americas, Europe, Africa
September 7, 2025TotalEurope, Africa, Asia, Australia

What are the 7 Stages of a Total Lunar Eclipse?

The 7 stages of a total Lunar Eclipse are:

  1. Penumbral Eclipse begins
  2. Partial Eclipse begins
  3. Full Eclipse begins
  4. Maximum Eclipse
  5. Full Eclipse ends
  6. Partial Eclipse ends
  7. Penumbral Eclipse ends

3 Tips to observe and photograph the Total Eclipse of the Moon in the best way.

  • Before the night of the lunar eclipse, practice your camera settings on the moon to learn how you can get a better image of the lunar eclipse.
  • Practice manual and professional modes of your camera and ISO, exposure, aperture, etc.
  • You can use an equatorial mount when taking high-magnification pictures.

What can you see during the Total Eclipse of the Moon with a telescope?

  • When the Penumbral eclipse begins- The moon touches the penumbra of the earth and starts to get dimmer though the difference is little. 
  • When Partial eclipse· begins- The moon touches Earth’s umbra. The part of the moon inside the umbra looks dark red.
  • When Totality begins- The whole moon is inside the Earth’s umbra and it turns into coppery red color. 
  • When the Totality ends- The moon leaves from the earth’s umbra and the red color also starts to fade out. 
  • When the Partial eclipse ends- The entire moon is now inside the Earth’s penumbra. The moon is now dark but not so much like during the totality.
  • When the Penumbral eclipse ends- The eclipse is over.

What telescope to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon?

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector, Sky-Watcher Classic 6-inch Dobsonian and Celestron – NexStar 8SE Telescope – Computerized Telescope is great telescopes to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon. A list of telescopes to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon has more telescope options that can see The Total Eclipse of the Moon very clearly.

What size telescope to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon?

With a 70mm telescope, you will get great views of The Total Eclipse of the Moon. The more the aperture, the better and sharper the views and the details. But to get the best details you should have a telescope with at least 500 mm of aperture.

What magnification is required to see The Total Eclipse of the Moon?

50x magnification is enough to show the whole The Total Eclipse of the Moon. However, 150x magnification is better to see the details. 

Enjoying The Total Eclipse of the Moon? Here are other things to see with your telescope.

Viewing The Total Eclipse of the Moon Through A Telescope is a great experience for astronomers. However, you also can observe different phases of the moon in the best ways through the same telescope. Viewing The Moon Through A Telescope can guide you on this. You also can observe the other night sky gems and plan for a great observation night. Go through ‘List of things to see with a telescope’ to find out an object to observe with your telescope.

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