A strange astronomical situation arises in the sky of Brazil on Wednesday morning (26). After spending the night under a full moon, our natural satellite enters the shadow of the earth during the moonset, while the first rays of sunrise appear on the opposite horizon.
It’s more of a total lunar eclipse, but it will only be partial in these parts, and at best. The best places to see the total solar eclipse when the moon takes on this brick-colored aspect are Oceania, Asia, the Pacific, and the far west of America. Anyone who is further east of Brazil will not see anything here. This is because the penumbral phase of the solar eclipse, when only some of the sunlight is blocked by the earth, begins at 5:47 a.m. (Brasília time).
At this moment the moon is still visible in the sky, for example in São Paulo, but it is already very low on the horizon. However, a penumbral eclipse is only noticeable if you have a photometer that measures how much light is coming from the moon (which, by the way, since it is on the horizon, should be less than normal regardless of the solar eclipse).
The partial phase in which the moon begins to enter the earth’s umbra (region where direct light from the sun is actually completely blocked) begins at 6:44 am. In São Paulo, the moon is already below the western horizon at this point in time. But for example in Rio Branco, in Acre, the moon will not set until 7:41 a.m. in Brasília (5:41 a.m. there, since there are two time zones), so it is possible to see our satellite at sunset 76% covered by the earth’s shadow. (All of these differences in observation from one place to another are due to the fact that the earth is round, which I would not have written here in the past.)
However, the full phase does not come until 8:11 a.m., when the moon has disappeared even in Rio Branco and the sun has already risen on the other side. We will lose the “Brick Moon” (which stays that color because all direct sunlight is blocked, but still receives rays of the sun that are filtered by the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere and leave the other side with a strong tendency to red – the same process which makes the sunset reddish here on earth).
Moral of the story: Unless you are in the westernmost regions of the country, there is nothing to see. If you are in the west, you will see the moon gradually being indented by a shadow until it falls on the horizon. It’s for today. Or rather, for tomorrow.
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