Friday, October 17, 2014

Blood Moon Eclipse

A week ago there was a full eclipse of the moon on a very clear early morning, which many people either watched, or viewed pictures of. 

I took this picture at 10 PM, six hours before the eclipse started. 

In the picture below you can see how the moon changes position, at least from our perspective, turning a bit clockwise, over the next 6 hours.

The internet said the eclipse would begin at 4:25 AM, but at 4:00AM it had already begun in my location, so I was glad I had taken this picture of the whole moon earlier.
 This picture was taken at 4:15 AM, and from here-on the moon moved fairly quickly into the Earth's shadow, as can be seen in the following photos.

As the shadow "moves" across the moon, the limitations of photography, compared to human eyesight, become apparent.

To the camera it looks like the area on the moon that is in shadow is completely dark.  But our eyes are able to see the red glow of the dark moon area caused by the "halo" of reddish sunrises/sunsets happenning all around the edges of the Earth.  This is where the term "Blood Moon" comes from.
 This picture was taken at 4:40 AM,  The moon was getting fairly low in the sky here, and I had to move my tripod to not have tree branches interfere with the picture.
 By 4:55 AM the moon was nearly 2/3rds in the shadow, and nearing total eclipse.
 By 5:11 AM only a crescent of the moon was visible from sun light reflection.

But as you can see in the picture below, the red "Blood Moon" was very visible over the rest of the surface of the moon.

The pictures here are all taken at about 125th of a second because the moon is quite bright in the camera lens.  But the "Blood Moon" is quite a bit darker and required a slower shutter speed of about 1/5 of a second.

The white area on the right side of this picture is the regular moon light, which has to be overexposed to be able to see the red area.  This picture was taken at 5:11 AM, the same as the picture above.

At 1/5th of a second through a 600mm lens the moon actually moves a little as it is setting, making it difficult not to have some blurring when taking the picture.

From my place to take these pictures the moon lowered into the trees nearby and was gone for photography purposes after this picture.

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