Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

A Super Moon is when a Full Moon occurs at the point in its orbit when the it is closest to Earth. A Blood Moon is when the Moon turns a coppery color during a lunar eclipse. And the first Full Moon of the year is called the Wolf Moon.

And this lunar trifecta occurred on the night into morning of January 20-21, 2019.

Which just happened to coincide with the first arctic blast of the season. Temperatures were in the teens Fahrenheit, with howling winds resulting in a wind chill well into minus territory.

It was cold.

It was worth it.

And I didn't have it so bad as I set up my imaging rig on my deck, no more than five feet from the door to the warmth inside. And I took advantage of said warmth frequently.


This shot was taken shortly after totality as I had focusing issues with my big lens*. The upper left edge now outside the Umbra. The blue color along that edge is real. The coppery red color is similar to the red glow see at sunrise and sunset. And is in fact the light from all the sunrises and sunsets around the world, refracted by the Earth's atmosphere toward the Moon. But ozone scatters out the red light, leaving the bluer wavelengths. You can read more about it here at Space Weather (scroll down).

Bigafy Me!

This is an image at totality. Actually, it is two images combined. One, a thirty second exposure for the stars. The second a one second exposure so as to capture the color of the Moon (it is washed out in the thirty second image). Be sure to bigafy the image to see the stars, including the Beehive cluster, aka M44, an open cluster, below and to the left of the Moon.

📷  🔭  📷  🔭  📷

Image courtesy Patty Rehn
Yours truly layered up yet still freezing due to the wind chill. It was cold!

Maybe I should have zipped up?

(I had just unzipped the coat to get out my reading glasses when Patty decided she wanted a photo. I zipped back up shortly thereafter. I'm not that stupid. Keyword "that"; I was out in 20 below wind chills after all.)

📷  🔭  📷  🔭  📷

* I was smart enough to have two cameras at the ready. One with a Canon 50 mm lens which was used for the second image. And the other with a Sigma 150-600 mm lens. This lens has a setting which limits the focus distance, narrowing the range the lens needs to seek focus speeding up the process. Quite useful when photographing wildlife. But not so good for focusing at infinity for astronomical subjects. And in the cold and dark it took me a while to figure out why I couldn't focus on the moon. So maybe the qualifier "that" is unwarranted above.

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