Full lunar eclipse plays out on Children’s Day

Tue, Apr 14, 2015 - Page 10

A full lunar eclipse played out in the sky on April 4, adding something special to the public’s celebration of Children’s Day.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said that a lunar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon that happens when the Moon, while traveling around its orbit, enters the shaded area facing the dark side of the Earth. As a result, the Moon does not receive the direct light from the Sun that it normally reflects, so that it is partly or wholly hidden from view. During the course of the April 4 eclipse, the entire face of the Moon entered the Earth’s umbra, causing the rare event of a full lunar eclipse.

In this eclipse, when the first contact with the Moon’s surface occurred — that is to say when the first part of the Moon started to be hidden — because it was not long after moonrise and the Moon was still low in the sky, the view could easily be obscured by land features or clouds.People were advised to choose observation points where the land to the east was flat or where objects on the Earth’s surface would not get in the way too much. The whole process of a lunar eclipse can be observed with the naked eye or magnified with a telescope.

There will be 85 full lunar eclipses this century, of which 63 will be visible from Taiwan. The CWB noted that the previous full lunar eclipse that could be seen from Taiwan took place on Oct. 8 last year, and we will have to wait until Jan. 31, 2018 for the next one.

(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)