This is an unusual image capturing two effects of the earth's shadow at the same time. This photo captured the Moon, halfway covered by earth's shadow in a partial lunar eclipse, appearing in the twilight wedge, which is a dark blue band projected on the western horizon by earth's shadow at dawn. The only time that the Moon can appear in the twilight wedge at dawn is at full moon. Any other phase of the Moon will place the Moon in an area of the sky where it will not be in the right location at the time that the twilight wedge appears. Therefore, this image is also unusual, because it is the only circumstance when you will see what looks like a quarter moon in the twilight wedge at dawn, i.e., a partially eclipsed full moon.
This was only a partial eclipse; but it was the first lunar eclipse visible from North America since February 2008. The maximum partial eclipse occurred at 4:38 am PDT. At maximum, just over half of the full moon's diameter was in the earth's shadow. This image was taken about 30 minutes after maximum eclipse.
The photograph was taken with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel SLR camera with an 18mm - 55mm lens. The above photo was published on the Spaceweather.com website, and on MSNBC.
Partial Lunar Eclipse
June 26, 2010
Photo by Sid Leach
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