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Lunar Eclipse April 15, 2014

Observers in the Americas were recently treated to a total Lunar eclipse.  A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Sun and Moon. Earth's shadow block all direct sunlight from reflecting back off the surface of the Moon. It is easy to see the Earth's shadow as it starts to creep across the face of the Moon. Then something unexpected happens. A much dimmer Moon appears to turn a deep orange-red.  This is because sunlight refracted by the Earth's atmosphere still dimly illuminates the Moon. We see sunsets as red-orange because the Earth's atmosphere scatters and attenuates green and blue light. This is the same light red-orange light that illuminates a lunar eclipse.

Below is the view from the SSC Observatory at the peak of the eclipse.

Totality From IAU #676

Below is a composite image made by combining an image of the background star field with eclipse frames taken throughout the eclipse. The result outlines Earth's shadow against the night sky.

Composite Image Showing Earth's Shadow

The following animations was produced by combining about 5 and half hours of eclipse images taken on the night of April 14-15, 2014 from the SSC San Clemente observatory.

Lunar Eclipse Animation From SSC's San Clemente Observatory

Please contact SSC before using images for any purpose.

SSC Observatories Offices:
1303 S. Ola Vista
San Clemente, CA 92682
Email: observatory <at>

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