All about the 28 July Eclipse

No effort is too big for the Management Team of TM Universe to please our fellow residents: on 28 July we’ve managed to organise a full lunar eclipse, conveniently on a Saturday morning. If the clouds are not a party-pooper, as they were during the last eclipse in January, then you may witness a unique event: a fully eclipsed moon during moon-set (and sun-rise). And more: Mars will be close to the moon, and close enough to the Earth to see his ice-caps through a telescope. And, on top of that: the International Space Station will fly over from 5.36 am.

Path of ISS from 5.36am

From 3.15 am a faint shadow of the earth will slowly cover the moon, but the dark shadow will not start till 4.24 am: that marks the start of the real eclipse. At 5.30 a.m. the moon will be fully eclipsed, covered by the earth’s shadow. Because of sun rays breaking through the earth atmosphere, the moon will not be pitch black, but turn dark red instead… this is often referred to as ‘blood moon’. At 5.36 the ISS will be visible for 6 minutes. The moon will be fully eclipsed till she slowly sinks below the Western horizon, at 6.35 am. At that time the sun will rise in the East.

You are invited to join us at the hang gliders site to watch this spectacular event. From about 4.15 am we will be ‘on standby’, equipped with (hopefully) telescopes, binoculars, camera’s and – above all – warm clothes, hot drinks and good mood. We hope that parents will take the effort to accompany their kids to the site as well, because for them the eclipse will be a great experience too: an eclipse during ‘moon-set’ is very rare… the next one will be on 1 January 2029. The next ‘evening full lunar eclipse’ will be on 26 May 2021.
During the eclipse we hope that we can share our knowledge (or lack of it) with each other, to get a better understanding of what an eclipse really is. In addition photographers present might be willing to share their expertise to help all of us to take nice pictures. On the Facebook page ample information is available about taking photos of a lunar eclipse, using anything from smartphone to professional cameras.
At this website information is given about the progress of the project to re-build the former TM Observatory, as well as a science centre and planetarium. Finding a suitable location for the project is clearly harder than we originally hoped, but progress is being made. The support of the community has been overwhelming and we are convinced that we will find a way to establish a great precinct.

Accurate forecasts of the cloud cover can be found on cloudfreenight website, from the 24th of July, and on the TM Universe website and Facebook page.

So, get ready for an early brekky at the hang gliders site on 28 July, an event happening only once in a blue moon.

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