From the July 2015 issue

September eclipse oddities

Let’s discuss the weird stuff about this lunar event.
By | Published: July 27, 2015 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

It’s not often that nearly the whole Western Hemisphere sees a total lunar eclipse. It won’t happen again until 2019. Plus, this September 27 event is in prime time; no one has to set an alarm. Only folks in Alaska and Hawaii miss totality.

Let’s focus on the oft-neglected oddities.

The noticeable part of the eclipse begins at 9:07 p.m. EDT when the left side of the Moon first encounters our planet’s dark inner shadow, the umbra. The next 15 minutes offer a Dali-esque surrealism. The black chunk taken out of the Moon’s edge leaves the remaining lunar disk a bizarre shape that cannot be mistaken for any normal lunar phase.

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