NSU Astronomers Capture Brightest Total Lunar Eclipse

On Monday, January 21 there was a total lunar eclipse. This eclipse took place during what is called a supermoon because the Moon was orbiting close to the Earth so it’s diameter appeared to increase by approximately eight percent.

Alfiya Nesterenko, Head of NSU’s Vega Observatory talked about her scientific observation,

A supermoon and a total lunar eclipse do not happen at the same time very often so that is what made this event special. The diameter of the Moon’s disc that we see appears larger than at other points of its trajectory, although the actual size of the moon, of course, remains unchanged. This eclipse was the brightest that we have observed


The constellations relative to the Moon were also very interesting. The constellation Gemini was above the Moon. On the bottom right, the constellation of Orion and Mars glittered clearly above the horizon. The supermoon is an astronomical phenomenon in which the full Moon coincides with the perigee (the point in the orbit of the Moon when it is closest to Earth). At the same time, the Moon seems larger and brighter than usual. The next lunar eclipse will be partial and will happen in July of this year.

Another rare astronomical event, the transit of Mercury across the Sun’s disc, will happen on November 11, 2019. This will not be visible in Russia. Scientists at the Vega Observatory plan to take pictures and do a limited broadcast of the event.