Tag Archives: winter soltice
“Lunar eclipse progression as seen from Folsom, California and the Moon in complete Earth Shadow”
I had initially completely given up on the eclipse because of the weather predictions and also the amount of rain and clouds I had seen in the past few days. At about 6:30 PM on Monday, when I headed out to the gym, I caught a glimpse of the full moon. It was still buried under some soft clouds, but its form was visible. That gave me some hope.
After returning from the gym, I launched Stellarium, a free open source planetarium software. Once I set the co-ordinates to Folsom, California, I was able to see the night sky and the moons current position. I hit the fast forward button and the software showed me how the moon would traverse in the sky. I particularly concentrated on its path between 10:30 PM – 11:40PM (PST) , the time the eclipse started and around the time the moon was completely in Earth’s shadow.
I set up my tripod outside my house, pointed the lens almost vertically up. I set off a few test shots and found the exposure where the moon was not overexposed and there was some detail on its surface. The details here are a bit soft, mainly because of the clouds. I had to constantly look up and wait for some gap in the fast moving clouds. With the focal length set at 200mm, the moon can travel across the frame pretty fast. So the first three in the above sequence are from the same position, the next two were taken after slightly shifting my camera. All of these different frames were layered on top of each other and the last two needed some special treatment (canvas re-size and some approximation on my part as to the moons trajectory)
The below shot is a single frame, showing some stars along with totalled moon.