Partial Lunar Eclipse June 4th 2012 (Hawaii viewing tips + Video)

During this partial lunar eclipse the full moon will be covered for ±1/3 by the shadow of the earth during the moment of greatest eclipse. This happens at 01:03 a.m. Hawaiian time on June 4th 2012, while the partial eclipse will be visible between one hour before and after this time.

This partial lunar eclipse is not as spectacular as a total lunar eclipse, but the timing (01:00 a.m.) makes it a great excuse to go out on the lush Hawaiian June night and go stargazing with your friends. Have a look at our Hawaii stargazing guide for more stargazing tips.

Don’t miss any of the 2012 astronomical fireworks in the Hawaiian sky and bookmark our Hawaii 2012 Astronomy calendar. We will send you Astronomy Alerts for all future Hawaiian astronomy events showers if you subscribe to our blog.

You have to wait until April 14th 2014  for the next total lunar eclipse that is visible from Hawaii. The next penumbral eclipse (the moon passes through the ‘half-shadow’ of the earth and barely gets eclipsed) is visible from Hawaii much sooner, on the early morning of November 28th 2012.

What is a partial lunar eclipse?

NASA eclipse june 2012

(top) Pictogram showing the moon at 5 stages while is moves through earths shadow (red). (bottom) Visibility of the June 4th partial lunar eclipse. The partial eclipse is not visible in the grey areas. Image credit: F. Espenak / NASA

A lunar eclipse happens every time when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth. If the complete moon is covered by the shadow we see a total lunar eclipse from the earth, but if only part of the moon touches the shadow, we see a partial lunar eclipse.

You can see the details of the June 4th 2012 partial lunar eclipse summarized in the figure to the left. For a higher resolution version have a look at the NASA lunar eclipse website.

For a complete rundown on lunar eclipses and some great lunar eclipse trivia (did you know that the sunsets and the red eclipsed moon are red for the same reason that the sky is blue?), see our lunar eclipse 101.

Video of the lunar eclipse

You can see what the partial lunar eclipse of June 2012 will look like in the following simulation. This video has been made using the (free) planetarium software stellarium,

You can clearly see that during the moment of greatest eclipse only 1/3 of the moon gets eclipsed. If you want to see what a total eclipse looks like have a look at our December 10th 2011 total lunar eclipse video.

Lunar eclipse viewing tips for Hawaii?

If you are on Hawaii, you can see the moon on the Southern sky between midnight and 2 a.m. on June 4th 2012. To aid your eye (though it shouldn’t be a problem to find the full moon) we show three sky maps below of the Hawaiian southern sky for June 4th 2012 at midnight (before the partial eclipse), at 01:00 a.m. (during the maximum eclipse) and at 02:00 a.m. (after the partial eclipse).

The full moon will be bright so you can see the lunar eclipse even from the most light-polluted places such as the city center, but as always with stargazing: the brighter the better. You will need a clear view of the southern sky so keep any source of light pollution on your Northern side.

Choose the high ground if it is feasible (on the Big Island: Mauna Kea, the Chain of craters road in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or Waimea), or just take some snacks and a beach chair + comforter outside around 1 a.m. and watch from your backyard.

Should you take binoculars?

Yes! Looking at the moon (and stargazing in general) with binoculars is always a good idea, but it will be especially useful for a partial lunar eclipse. With binoculars, the eclipsed part of the moon will look more red and it is also better visible.

sky map hawaii partial lunar eclipse

Sky map for Hawaii at midnight, just before the June 4th 2012 partial lunar eclipse. The moon is visible in the southern sky.

sky map hawaii partial lunar eclipse

Sky map for Hawaii at 01:00 a.m., at the maximum of the June 4th 2012 partial lunar eclipse. The moon is visible in the southern sky.

sky map hawaii partial lunar eclipse

Sky map for Hawaii at 02:00 a.m., just after the June 4th 2012 partial lunar eclipse. The moon is visible in the southern sky.

3 thoughts on “Partial Lunar Eclipse June 4th 2012 (Hawaii viewing tips + Video)

  1. I live in Kaneohe, O’ahu. Where is a good place for me to be to see this partial eclipse? The closer to Kaneohe, th better.
    Thank you, wendy

    • Aloha Wendy, You should be even be able to see it from your roof/balcony/street, or from the beach. As long as you can see the moon you will be able to see the partial eclipse.

      Darker is always better, and make sure your view to the south is not blocked by a high building or the like.

      Have a good time viewing!

  2. Pingback: Hawaii 2012 Online Astronomy Calendar

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