Sky Watch: Total eclipse of the super moon

We missed the total eclipse of the Super Moon in Australia but North and South America had first class seats.

SPECTACULAR : A total eclipse of the supermoon in real time
 from Brazil.	Picture: Professor R. J. Vaz Tolentino.

SPECTACULAR : A total eclipse of the supermoon in real time from Brazil. Picture: Professor R. J. Vaz Tolentino.

Here is the full eclipse photographed by that brilliant lunar photographic specialist, Professor Ricardo Jose vaz Tolentino from Bela Horizonte, Brazil.

The professor takes startlingly spectacular lunar photographs from his rooftop observatory.

He wrote:

"On 30 and 31 October and 1 and 2 November of 2015, will take place in Belo Horizonte, in FUMEC University, the 18 ENAST (national astronomy meeting) when I will give a lecture. I will be with Dr Charles A. Wood, who will give a lecture as well. Please, take a look on www.vaztolentino.com.br pictures of the total lunar eclipse of the SuperMoon on 27/28 september 2015. The differences between the photos of the first two lines (Moon entering in the Earth's shadow) is about 5 minutes. The differences between the pictures of the last two lines (Moon leaving Earth's shadow) is also approximately five minutes. All the best in Australia and best regards. We saw the Super Moon here but the eclipse in Earth's shadow was missing."

Our thanks to Professor Vaz Tolentino.

It is every astronomer's dream to look through a bigger telescope and professional astronomer Yuri Beletsky is doing just that.

BIGGER IS BETTER: Yuri Beletsky at the giant telescope.

BIGGER IS BETTER: Yuri Beletsky at the giant telescope.

Not only is this huge telescope 6.5 metres across it has superb adaptive optics. A specialised sensor looks at a distant star and senses its corruption from atmospheric changes and adapts the mirror to correct those changes.

This is high end technology. But to install an eyepiece instead of a camera and actually see the images in real time is fantastic. The image is of the binary pair of stars, Alpha Centauri, coincidently our nearest starry neighbour.

It is only 4.3 light years from us which in astronomical terms makes it the girl next door. The ancients who named it did not know it was two stars orbiting each other but even a small telescope can separate them but the 6.5m telescope at Las Campanas, Wow.

So thanks to Yuri Beletsky we can observe through his experience another of astronomy's great moments. Alpha Centauri as never seen before.

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