Novosibirsk State University Observatory Scientists Capture Time-lapse of Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

On July 27 scientists from the NSU Observatory captured a rare astronomical phenomenon, the total lunar eclipse.  In order to do this they traveled 200 km from the City because the sky over Novosibirsk was covered by clouds.  

During Friday and Saturday night, the longest total lunar eclipse in the 21st century was visible to some people on Earth. In Novosibirsk the eclipse started at 12:15 AM with the full phase beginning at 2:30 AM and lasting for 103 minutes. Overall, the lunar eclipse lasted almost four hours.

In Russia the eclipse was most visible in the North Caucasus, the Caspian lowland and the Southern Urals. To capture the eclipse in Novosibirsk, the NSU Observatory scientists shot through a 300-millimeter telescopic lens. The footage was edited into a 16-second video.

Mikhail Maslov, lead engineer at the NSU Observatory described preparations for the event,

The forecast predicted there would most likely be clouds in Novosibirsk. There was a greater chance the sky would be clear to the South of Novosibirsk so we traveled along the Chuski Highway to Chereponova and then to Suzun. At first, the sky was clear so we were able to capture the initial phases of the eclipse. Then, clouds appeared so we could not film the main part of the eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse coincided with other astronomical phenomenon, the great confrontation of the Earth and Mars, as well as the conjunction of the Moon and Mars in the night sky. It was at this point that the Mars and Earth were a minimum distance from each other. This phenomenon will not happen again until 2035.

Maslov talked about the importance of the event,

This event was a unique very deep phase of the lunar eclipse, as well as an almost exact correspondence of the lunar eclipse with the Mars and Earth confrontation and the Moon and Mars conjunction during the eclipse. If there had been a clear sky, there would have been an interesting picture in the sky with the darkened disk of the Moon, and beneath it a bright red star that was Mars in several degrees.