Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lunar Eclipse - Oct 8, 2014

Click on the image for a larger view
October 8, 2014, about 2 a.m., Gloria and I drove to Hillsdale Lake, KS, about a 20 minute drive from my home in Cleveland, MO. I set up my time lapse equipment and two tripods with my cameras to take pictures of the second Lunar Eclipse of the year. Clouds were lying low in the southwest, but clear over the rest of the sky and the Full Moon was shining brightly. At 4:17 a.m., the first bite from the shadow of the earth was taking place. Slowly, as the sky got darker, and more and more of the moon was being eclipsed by earth's shadow, we watched the stars appear above us.

Around 5:25, the moon turned to a beautiful, red ocher, brighter on one side, this being due to the fact that the moon did not go through the exact center of the earth's shadow. The picture above was taken with my 300mm f/4 Canon lens and Canon Xti. It is actually two images combined to show what it looked like in my binoculars. The planet Uranus was easily visible in binoculars. The picture of the moon was 4 seconds at ISO 400 and the stars were shot for 15 seconds. It is impossible to show this with one shot, so combining them is the only way.

Above, is the view across the lake, take with my 18mm f/3.5 Canon lens and the same Xti Canon camera. The exposure was 10 seconds at ISO 1600. This is also a double exposure, with the moon exposed for 10 seconds, but with the ISO at 200, essentially 3 stops slower.

This image is one taken from the set of time lapse pictures. The exposure for this shot was 25 seconds with a 10mm f/3.5 lens and my Canon T4i at ISO 3200. The longer exposure and higher ISO setting bring out many more stars, including the Andromeda galaxy at upper right.

A truly wonderful night. The only thing I could hear was an occasional fish jumping in the lake. At one point I watched a raccoon walk along the edge of the lake not noticing me, until I moved slightly, then it scooted into the bushes.

The next Lunar Eclipse will occur September 28, 2015.

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