1st November 2022 – (Hong Kong) A total lunar eclipse and lunar occultation of Uranus will be visible in Hong Kong on November 8 (Tuesday), the moon will take on an uncommon coppery-red hue and block, or occult, the planet Uranus coincidentally. The lunar eclipse is best observed at places with an unobstructed view in the east-northeast direction if weather permits. However, since Uranus is quite dim, a telescope is almost indispensable for observing this planet. The Hong Kong Space Museum will live stream this astronomical event from 6pm to 9pm that evening.
The eclipse will have already begun when the moon rises in the east at 5.37pm that evening. The total eclipse phase will take place at 6.16pm when the moon enters the Earth’s shadow completely, and will last for one hour and 26 minutes. The Hong Kong Space Museum recommends a site with an unobstructed view to the east-northeast for observation, such as the Central and Western District Promenade, the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Pak Shek Kok Promenade.
The museum will live stream this astronomical event via its YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/hkspacem) and “LCSD Plusss” Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LCSDPlusss) and share interesting tidbits related to lunar eclipses, occultation and Uranus. On November 5 (Saturday), the museum will share more information on the event, including advice to observe it on the two channels mentioned above. The public can also visit the “vis-à-vis +01” webpage on the Edutainment Channel of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (www.lcsd.gov.hk/edutainment/en/vis_a_vis/index.html) to observe the event in parallel.
A lunar eclipse is one of the most easily observable astronomical events. Lunar occultation of Uranus occurs every now and then, but only during a total lunar eclipse will the moon dim so much that both the moon and Uranus can be seen through a telescope at the same time. Not only is total lunar eclipse and lunar occultation extremely rare, this time Hong Kong ranks among the best cities to observe this astronomical phenomenon. Details of the total lunar eclipse and lunar occultation of Uranus are available at the website of the Hong Kong Space Museum (hk.space.museum/en_US/web/spm/resources/special-astronomical-events/lunar-eclipse/total-lunar-eclipse.html).