Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Lunar Eclipse

Saturday night was the first total lunar eclipse in 2-1/2 years. Unfortunately for us the moon was rising well past the beginning of totality. That's the phase where the earth's shadow completely covers the moon and the moon turns a blood-red color. In this case the totality phase began at 5:44PM, but the moon wasn't going to rise until 6:21PM at my location. With the hills and trees on my eastern horizon, I would have to wait much later to even see anything. Totality ended at 6:58PM, at which time the moon was still hidden behind the trees. That's when I could see the bright crescent as the earth's shadow began moving off the moon. I sat with my telescope ready, positioned just above the tree line. The high clouds that were around all day were breaking up, but still making the view of the moon pretty fuzzy. Once the moon cleared the trees, I snapped a few shots but they were all fuzzy. The above image is my favorite of the bunch. Too bad we didn't have a good view of the entire eclipse. I haven't had good weather to see that since May of 2003, when I took the sequence of images below. At that time I didn't have a telescope, but the awesome lens on my old Sony DSC-F505V provided some great images. I'll be looking forward to nearly a year from now when we have our next total lunar eclipse on February 21, 2008.


Anonymous said...

Tim, I read nearly 10 yrs. ago an article from a very excited astronomer re: the Feb 21, 2008 eclipse...seems this eclipsed moon will conjunct with regulus and saturn. The astronomer noted that this rare threesome would be the only conjunction of these 3 objects in this millennia. I never read anymore concerning this but wondered all these years about it. Have you any additional info?


Mishy said...

We are in the Kansas City metro area and were all standing outside, in the snow watching this wonder. I did have to call my neighbors and ask them to turn off their upstairs house lights, but what an amazing sight. We are not yet fully at total eclipse but the clouds have taken over. I will keep checking. Ahh... the small things in life bring such joy.