* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, September 28, 2015


Lunar Eclipse 1During last night, we were treated to a marvelous celestial exhibition.  It required us to set an alarm for about 4:00 a.m., then stand out in the cold constantly trying to snap photos, but what a show!

This photo is an official one taken with massive equipment we obviously don't have, but it shows how it really looked.  You can find more photos online if you are interested.

I've researched a bit of official information in case you'd like to know a teeny bit more but not enough to look it up yourselves.

Lunar Eclipse 2
Path of Visibility

What This Lunar Eclipse Looked Like:

Regions seeing at least some parts of the eclipse: Europe, South/West Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica. 

This is a map that shows the path with our corner of the world marked.  We apparently were just able to see it, which was quite fortunate!

Usually we are a day late, a dollar short, or buried under party pooper clouds, but we did manage to score this opportunity this time.

Supermoon Coincided With Lunar Eclipse in Rare Celestial Event Sunday Night

A lunar eclipse that coincided with a supermoon on Sunday night dazzled star-gazers across the globe.  The rare event marked a celestial phenomenon that won't occur for another 18 years. As the moon made its closest proximity to Earth, it appeared up to 14 percent larger, giving way for the term supermoon.  This supermoon was also called a harvest moon due to its occurrence falling at the beginning of the autumn season.

In addition, the moon passed behind the Earth into its shadow, resulting in a red tint across its surface in what is known as a blood moon.  "The red portion of sunlight is what makes it through our atmosphere to the other side, bent toward the eclipsed moon, so that even though the moon is within Earth's shadow, the red portion of the sun's light can give the moon this ghostly illumination," Eric Edelman of Slooh told AccuWeather.

Supermoon lunar eclipses are historically rare, though frequency has increased during the 21st century, according to Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman.  "It's one of the best astronomical events to witness without any equipment and we know exactly when it was going to happen," AccuWeather Meteorologist and Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

In our area, the entire eclipse was visible from start to end.  Unfortunately, we didn't think to take a picture of the full blood moon aspect before we went to bed, and I don't know that I could have captured much of the red aspect if I'd been able to see it with my eyes.  But we got up about an hour before the official maximum time, and these are the first views we had.  It's too bad I couldn't manage to take more close-ups through the binoculars, which really did afford a magnificent view.

Lunar Eclipse 3
Manipulated start of maximum
Lunar Eclipse 4
Camera's view of reality

These two photos are taken about a minute apart on AUTO, zoomed in to the limit. 

I had fun playing with the first one to blow it out so you could see the shape better, while the second one is more like how we saw it.  I did not otherwise manipulate anything, although I don't think we actually saw it look this red with the naked eye.

I continued taking more photos on various settings, but clouds kept rolling in.  The naked eye and the binoculars could see it much more through the clouds than the camera could, so most of them were wasted. 

While the total effect didn't change that much, we did stay up the whole hour until the official time:

Lunar Eclipse 5
Total eclipse of the moon
Lunar Eclipse 6
A blood red eclipse

Maximum Eclipse:  04:47:09

My photo is time stamped at 04:46:24.  I'd call that pretty close, give or take setting inaccuracies!

The clouds rolled in again right after that, and I played with the exposure time, ending up with this blown-out 10-second shot minutes later.  Still kind of cool when you know what it is.  Again, I have not manipulated any of the coloring, and I still don't think we saw it that vividly red.

Lunar Eclipse 7
Vernal equinox 2015

This has been a fun year for eclipses.  We got a partial solar eclipse in March, which I wrote about in Total Eclipse -- Not Quite! 

That one was officially at maximum at 10:26 a.m., and mine is stamped at 10:29.  Considering how awkward that one had been to capture, I don't think that's too shabby!

Hurray for modern cameras that let average photographers like myself capture such fascinating phenomena.


  1. We also were blessed with clear skies for the eclipse, which happened a more reasonable time on the east coast. I got a few pictures of the first hour, but didn't stay outside for more after that. There are so many good photos on line that were taken through telescopes that I don't feel badly that I didn't take more.

  2. We were at the Arboretum at a fundraiser with Chuck and Leah and did have a clear view, but it seemed so far away you could hardly see it but we did see the red aspect. Everybody took great pictures so we got to see what it really looked like. We were looking at about 8:30 p.m. but the best view would have been around 11 p.m. and we were all tucked up in our beds then.

  3. We had terrible storms so the sky was all cloudy and I couldn't see anything. I guess I have to stick around to catch the next one!


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