National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31


Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31

It is the coldest season of the year. The full Moon, which illuminated the frosty winter night sky, gradually entered the shadow of the Earth. About an hour later, it became dim and turned dark red. Total Lunar Eclipse - the red copper Moon appeared in the night sky, and winter stars shone all at once in the pitch-dark night sky. It was a night that I enjoyed with my heart; for over an hour we could see the medley of the eclipsed Moon high in the sky and the many winter constellations.

First Total Lunar Eclipse in about Three Years

This was the first time in about three years, since April 4, 2015, that there has been a total lunar eclipse which can be seen throughout Japan in its entirety from when the Moon first starts to enter Earth's shadow until it completely emerges. Many people were waiting for this total lunar eclipse, because the previous total lunar eclipse lasted only 12 minutes and many people couldn't see the last one because of the bad weather in many areas.

On July 28, 2018, a total lunar eclipse that can be seen throughout Japan will occur again, but the Moon will set during the lunar eclipse. Especially in most areas of Hokkaido, Aomori, and Iwate prefectures, the Moon sets before totality starts, so only a partial lunar eclipse can be seen. The next total lunar eclipse with favorable conditions throughout Japan is in November 2022. You will have to wait for over four years to see that one.

Text by: Tomoko Ono (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)
Translation by: Hiroko Tsuzuki and Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)

Image Data

Date22:30 pm January 31, 2018 (Japan Standard Time)
TelescopeTakahashi TSA-120
CameraNikon D810A
Exposure6 seconds, ISO800
PhotographerShogo Nagayama
LocationNAOJ Mitaka Campus
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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