Lunar Eclipse of January 9, 2001

January 12, 2001


Provided by: Sky and Telescope Magazine
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

On January 9, 2001 there was a total lunar eclipse, which was visible over the Middle East, and most of Africa, Asia and Europe. Two weeks earlier, on Christmas Day, a partial solar eclipse was observed by many people over the US (see the Earth Science Picture of the Day for December 27, 2000). Lunar eclipses often follow solar eclipses since the Earth, moon and Sun will remain pretty much in direct alignment from new moon to full mooon phase. With a total lunar eclipse, the full moon is completely covered by the Earth's shadow (umbra), whereas in a total solar eclipse, the shadow of the new moon falls across only a sliver of the Earth's surface. Although, total solar eclipses occur slightly more frequently than do total lunar eclipse, many more people witness lunar eclipses since the full moon is visible to everyone on the side of the Earth that faces it (providing skies are clear). The above eclipse sequence was taken by Akira Fuji, a contributing Sky and Telescope photographer, of a total lunar eclipse that occurred during July of 2000.

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