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Science blog


News, anecdotes and pictures from across science and engineering at UCL


Total eclipse of the Moon

By Oli Usher, on 28 September 2015


Last night saw both a supermoon (the Moon’s closest approach to Earth, in which it appears about 14% bigger than it does at its most distant), and a lunar eclipse, in which the full Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow.

During a lunar eclipse, the disc of the Moon progressively goes from bright white to a deep red: when in the Earth’s shadow, the only light illuminating its surface is the light that is bent through Earth’s atmosphere. This light – effectively, the light of all the sunrises and sunsets on Earth – is red because blue light is scattered in Earth’s atmosphere.

This sequence of photos was produced by Theo Schlichter,¬†Computing and Instrumentation Officer at UCL’s observatory, using a Canon EOS450D camera and a 200mm lens. The composite was produced by Dr Steve Fossey.

Solar eclipse

By Oli Usher, on 20 March 2015


The clouds didn’t part, but there was a great turnout for the eclipse party in the quad this morning. (So great that all the smartphones made eduroam a bit unreliable – sorry for the occasional breaks in the stream.)


Thanks everyone for coming – and see you for the next big one in 2026!