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Can you look at a lunar eclipse through a telescope

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You could be forgiven for thinking that America is suddenly experiencing lots of eclipses, but what will happen in the early hours of January 31 will be nothing like August's total solar eclipse in the U. While that event lasted just a few minutes and had to be viewed mostly through special safety glasses, the total lunar eclipse happening on Wednesday will last for hours, and be completely safe to watch. A supermoon is when our satellite is slightly closer to Earth than usual in its orbit, which results in a slightly larger and brighter moon — about 14 percent larger. Since the moon is so small in the night sky, that size difference will be difficult to appreciate. It's the same with a Blue Moon, which is purely a human construct. It has to do with how many full moons there are in one calendar month or astronomical season — and no, the moon won't turn blue.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Solar Observation through my Telescope

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: P1000 Zooming the Total Lunar Eclipse (blood moon) Jan 21st 2019

How to Observe the Sun and the Solar Eclipse Safely

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The first thing to remember about observing an eclipse is safety. A solar eclipse is potentially dangerous, however, because viewing a solar eclipse involves looking at the Sun, which can damage your eyesight. A solar eclipse can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse , when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon. Partial eclipses , annular eclipses , and the partial phases of total solar eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions.

Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness. Looking at the Sun through any kind of optical aid binoculars, a telescope, or even a camera's viewfinder is extremely dangerous, and can cause permanent blindness. There is no pain or discomfort when the retina is being burned, and the resulting visual symptoms do not occur until at least several hours after the injury has occurred; by which time it is far too late.

Professional astronomer and science communicator Phil Plait makes this case well Special report: Let your kids see the eclipse! An article by professional astronomer and science communicator Phil Plait, making the case that children can and should be allowed to safely view a solar eclipse.

However, safety must come first; so if you are not confident that you, or people you are responsible for, can correctly follow the safety precautions outlined here, then it would be best to stay indoors and watch the event on TV or the internet. To look at the Sun directly, you must use proper solar viewing protection, such as eclipse glasses.

Sunglasses do not provide anything like adequate protection, as they do not block the wavelengths of light which are likely to damage your eyes, or reduce the intensity of the visible light sufficiently. Since much of the damage is done by invisible infra-red light, the fact that the Sun appears dark in a filter or that you feel no discomfort does not guarantee that your eyes are safe. In fact, sunglasses can make it worse: as they block visible light, the pupil in your eye widens, letting in more harmful UV and infra-red light.

Properly designed solar filters, made and certified to appropriate national safety standards, are therefore the recommended protection for direct viewing. The relevant standard is ISO , so look for that mark.

Genuine eclipse glasses made before may have been made to an older standard; they are probably fine, but still I would recommend trashing them and getting a new pair. They cost pennies, after all. These glasses should be much darker than regular sunglasses; they need to filter out ultra-violet, infra-red, and They should be reasonably new, and in good condition. If in doubt, or if they appear to be damaged at all, destroy them. Various other ad-hoc solar filters are sometimes discussed; but in practice these can be dangerous, and so can't be recommended.

Even if they seem to dim the Sun to a low level, they may be letting through invisible infra-red radiation which could be permanently harming your eyes. In any case purpose-designed eclipse viewing glasses are readily and cheaply available, so it's simplest and safest to get the real thing.

Fake goods of all kinds are becoming increasingly common; unfortunately, this can apply to solar viewing glasses too. It's terribly easy to make a pair of glasses with sub-standard tinted plastic, and print the relevant certification marks on them. So be sure that you obtain whatever viewing aids you use from a reputable source.

Viewing the Sun indirectly, by projecting its image onto a screen, is a safe way to enjoy any solar eclipse. You can make a projector with a simple pinhole, or with binoculars or a telescope, as described in Observing Eclipses. Note that a screen refers to a matte surface, such as a white sheet, or a piece of paper, so that the Sun's image can be seen by anyone looking at it from any angle. Looking at a reflection of the Sun in any shiny surface is basically the same as looking directly at the Sun, and as dangerous.

The naked eye view of totality is safe and is the most awe-inspiring astronomical phenomenon you are likely to see. Just remember to look away and put your eclipse glasses back on before the Sun returns. This is not true: looking at the Sun at any time for more than a second or two can cause permanent eye damage. Finally, I've heard some truly daft ideas for eclipse viewing, such as looking through a sheet of Perspex, or in a reflection in a bucket of water.

I have no idea where these come from, but these are not safe! If you can see the Sun clearly and brightly, whether directly, in a reflection, or via Perspex, then it's dangerous. This page therefore contains some information on eye safety during a solar eclipse. Copyright C Ian Cameron Smith. Last modified: UTC.

Observing and Photographing Lunar Eclipses

The Sun is the closest and the brightest star in our sky and it is a rewarding observing target. Depending on the method and the instrument used - it can reveal beautiful features such as sunspots, granulation, corona during full solar eclipses , prominences and filaments observable with a higher end instruments. However being extremely bright, times brighter than the full Moon, the Sun poses a significant risk to our sight if observed improperly. Normally we can't look at the Sun for more than a few seconds since our eyes are forced to close to protect themselves. However using improvised and improper filters can reduce the visible glare while letting enough harmful IR radiation through.

Lunar eclipses are some of the most easy-to-watch astronomical events. All you need to see them are clear skies and a pair of eyes. Anyone on the night-side of the Earth at the time of the eclipse can see it.

Facebook Twitter. You will likely find amateurs out and about for this lunar eclipse. Credit: David Fields Many astronomy clubs have activities planned for viewing the upcoming eclipse on Wednesday, February 20th. Below are some of the activities that Night Sky Network clubs have planned in the past. Of course, the last lunar eclipse visible from the US happened early in the morning, but this one will be in the evening and a perfect time for viewing.

Can You Look at a Lunar Eclipse? How to Safely Watch on January 31

Celestial Objects to Observe. You can unsubscribe anytime. This can only happen when the Moon is full. The dark, central shadow is called the umbra, while the lighter shadow that surrounds it is the penumbra. The penumbral shadow is weak and often difficult to detect; for most observers a lunar eclipse really gets going when the umbra first touches the lunar surface. Lunar eclipses get their colorful red-orange hues from sunlight that is filtered and bent by the Earth's atmosphere around into its shadow. This is the light of all the world's sunrises and sunsets ringing the globe at the time.

How to View a Solar Eclipse

Remember to use safe solar eclipse glasses and other equipment during the partial phases, and soak up the darkness during totality! In fact, you've probably been told that by lots of reputable sources including our own Space. A total solar eclipse happens when the central disk of the sun is completely covered by the moon. But total solar eclipses are a much rarer sight. A joint statement from NASA and the four other organizations says that with the right information, skywatchers can safely view the total solar eclipse in its full glory with the naked eye.

As others have said, any telescopic viewing of the Sun should be done with solar filters built for telescopes.

The third of will happen March As a result, there are two distance extremes of each orbit: closest approach, known as perigee, and the farthest, or apogee. When the Moon is at closest approach and within a day or so of being full, it is called a supermoon because the Moon will be at its brightest and largest.

Tag: lunar eclipse

The first thing to remember about observing an eclipse is safety. A solar eclipse is potentially dangerous, however, because viewing a solar eclipse involves looking at the Sun, which can damage your eyesight. A solar eclipse can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse , when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon.

You can also watch with our free Android and iOS app! Be sure to prepare for viewing solar eclipses live: use these tips and techniques to get a clear view without injuring your eyes. This is probably the most important part of this website. Never view the Sun with the naked eye or by looking through optical devices such as binoculars or telescopes! This is critical!

The What: Eye Safety

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Viewing a lunar eclipse does not require a telescope or even special glasses; however, while waiting for totality to begin, which is marked by a reddish-brown color.

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