Lunar eclipse wows skygazers

Early-morning risers turned their eyes skywards today to watch a total lunar eclipse.

The ‘super blood moon’ eclipse was visible in Cayman from 4:44am and continued until the moon set at 5:50am.

In some countries where the total eclipse was visible, the moon appeared red in colour – hence, ‘blood’ moon – but with the early-morning sky already brightening in Cayman as the Earth’s shadow fell across its surface, the moon here appeared to take on a pinkish tinge. The blood-red colour of the total eclipse was not visible in Cayman because it occurred just as the moon sank below the horizon.

A super moon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, appearing to be about 7% larger and 15% brighter than usual.

Tiyen Miller, of the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society, was one of the people who was viewing and photographing the celestial phenomenon through his telescope this morning.

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“We were so fortunate to have perfect conditions to experience the lunar eclipse this morning from Grand Cayman,” Miller said. “Lunar eclipses are always very peaceful and calming to watch as the moon gradually slides through the shadow of the Earth.

“Nevertheless, this morning was exceptionally soothing to watch as the thinning pink moon gracefully approached the horizon whilst the skies began to glow in the cobalt blue of the coming dawn.”

Miller also captured a time-lapse video of the eclipse.

Karen Perkins views the lunar eclipse through a telescope in Grand Cayman. – Photo: Petro Kotze

In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow gradually falls across the moon’s face until it covers it completely, as the moon and sun line up on exact opposite sides of the planet.

The total lunar eclipse – the first since January 2019 – was visible in many places across the planet, including the western part of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

Other members of the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society, Karen Perkins and Petro Kotze, were also up early to watch the eclipse from their deck in South Sound.

“It was wonderful to watch the Earth’s shadow move slowly across the moon… We are lucky in Cayman to have such an unobstructed view over the sea to be able to view this,” Perkins said.

For those who missed this morning’s eclipse, the next one can been seen from Cayman on 19 Nov. this year.

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