ST. PETERSBURG, October 8. /TASS/. On Wednesday, people in Russia’s Far East were able to observe a unique phenomenon — a lunar eclipse — which started at 1:14pm and lasted till 4:35pm Moscow time, the press secretary of Russia’s major Pulkovo space observatory Sergey Smirnov told TASS.
Onlookers in Russia’s Kamchatka and Chukotka regions enjoyed the best view of the ‘bloody’ Moon, which, however, reddened only at the bottom, because this time the celestial body barely touched the Earth’s shadow staying far away from its center, Smirnov said.
On this occasion the scientist recalled a quite remarkable historical fact — a sea battle fought during the Russia-Turkey War of 1877-1878, when the lunar eclipse brought victory to the Russian Fleet. During the eclipse on August 11-12, 1877, future admiral Stepan Makarov, who was a lieutenant at the time, used the shadow as a means of camouflage to attack the enemy’s fleet in Batumi. In those days, all of Russian naval officers were obliged to take a course in practical astronomy at the Pulkovo Observatory and had perfect knowledge of celestial phenomena. This gimmick earned Makarov not only his first military success, but the rank of a Captain and the Order of St. George.
“Today the eclipse of the Moon could be seen well from Russia’s Pacific coast. Observers in the Hawaiian Islands were also able to enjoy a view of it. For that they had to raise their heads high enough, though, as the Moon was right overhead in that area”, the scientist said.