Total lunar eclipse in Hong Kong on October 8

     A total lunar eclipse will occur during the evening of October 8 (Wednesday) in Hong Kong. Details of the eclipse are as follows:

               Hong Kong  Direction      Elevation
               Time       (Azimuth)
               ---------  ---------      ---------              
Moon enters    4.14pm     -              Below
penumbra                                 horizon
Moon enters    5.15pm     -              Below
umbra                                    horizon
Moonrise       5.59pm     East           -1 degree
                          (83 degrees)    
Total eclipse  6.25pm     East           5 degrees
begins                    (86 degrees)
Middle of      6.55pm     East           12 degrees
eclipse                   (88 degrees)

Total eclipse  7.25pm     East           18 degrees
ends                      (91 degrees)
Moon leaves    8.35pm     East           34 degrees
umbra                     (98 degrees)
Moon leaves    9.35pm     East-southeast 48 degrees
penumbra                  (106 degrees)

     A special feature of this lunar eclipse is that the eclipse is already in progress after moonrise. The total eclipse will begin soon after the moonrise. The duration of the whole process (from moonrise to moon leaving penumbra) will last for 3 hours 36 minutes, with the total eclipse lasting for an hour. This astronomical event will be visible in Hong Kong if the weather is fine.

     As the elevation of the moon will be rather low during the eclipse, the event is best observed at places with an unobstructed view to the horizon in the east, such as Shek O, the east dam of High Island Reservoir and on top of Tai Mo Shan. Members of the public can also watch the event via a webcast from moonrise to the moon leaving the penumbra, which will be jointly provided by the Hong Kong Observatory (the Observatory), the Hong Kong Space Museum (the Space Museum), the Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical Centre and the Po Leung Kuk Ngan Po Ling College on the following web page: .

     The Space Museum will organise an observation activity titled "Night of Total Lunar Eclipse", along the middle section of the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui from 6.30pm to 9.35pm. The public will have the opportunity to observe the lunar eclipse through telescopes under the guidance of Space Museum staff. The activity is provided free of charge and no registration is required.

     The path of the moon during the eclipse can be found in Figure 1. An animation of the lunar eclipse is also available at the YouTube channel of the Space Museum ( The moon will not completely vanish but will instead appear dull red in colour during the total eclipse. This is the result of the blue part of sunlight being scattered away by the Earth's atmosphere and the remaining red light refracted onto the moon. One may also download the Space Museum's latest mobile app "Star Hoppers" for the eclipse data. "Star Hoppers" provides Chinese and Western star charts with narrations, stargazing tips, latest information of astronomical events and activities of the Space Museum.

     The total lunar eclipse on October 8 will be the second episode of tetrad eclipse, with the first one occurring on April 15 earlier this year. Tetrad is a term for describing four consecutive total lunar eclipses with an interval of six full moons. The remaining two episodes will occur on April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015. The one on April 4, 2015 will also be visible in Hong Kong. The last tetrad eclipse occurred from 2003 to 2004 and the next tetrad will occur from 2032 to 2033.

     Please refer to the Observatory's website for a detailed explanation of a lunar eclipse: .

     For the weather on October 8, please refer to the latest "9-day Weather Forecast" issued by the Observatory at the following website: .

Ends/Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:09