On Friday October 18, the Full Moon will venture into Earth’s outer or penumbral shadow, producing an eclipse. Slooh, the Community Observatory, will track the Moon with its Canary Islands Half-Meter telescope, showing real-time as well as time-lapse views of the eclipse, accompanied by live
narration from Slooh’s Paul Cox, and astronomer Bob Berman.
Slooh will broadcast live images for the entire duration of the eclipse (4hrs 10mins), commencing at 2:45PM PDT / 5:45PM EDT / 21:45UTC, so viewers can monitor the subtle changes as the Moon gradually dims. The Slooh broadcast team will join the show starting at 4:30PM PDT / 7:30PM EDT / 23:30UTC, which will include the time of greatest eclipse.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this penumbral eclipse will be the uneven shading that should overtake the Full Moon. This type of eclipse often goes completely unnoticed by observers; however, since one part of the Moon will be illuminated by a mostly-blacked out Sun covered up by the Earth while the opposite edge will experience full sunlight, the shading should be unusual, and worth observing.
Says Cox, “Although a penumbral lunar eclipse might go unnoticed by someone casually glancing at the Moon, we will be able to observe the gradual shading of the Moon in the live images Slooh will broadcast throughout the eclipse. The shading becomes far more apparent when viewed as a time-lapse, and we’ll show viewers that during the live segment of the show.”
Also discussed — since this is also simultaneously the moment of the “Hunter’s Moon” — will be the lore, legend, and science of that second-most famous Full Moon of the year. During the 20 minute live broadcast, we will also discuss Full Moons in general, including the disproved putative effect on human births and mental illness.
Says Berman, “Many imagine that mental health waxes and wanes with the lunar phases. But admissions to mental hospitals and calls to crisis centers show there’s no periodicity with the full Moon.”