21
Dec
10

THE LUNAR ECLIPSE OF DECEMBER 21, 2010.


The last time I had seen a lunar eclipse what a few years back, I can’t recall the exact year. But from what I do remember it was late in the year around winter time. I was in Downtown Brooklyn walking home and for some odd reason I just looked up and noticed the moon disappear from the sky. I did not have a camera at that time or my blog.

But I had made a mental note back then to try to photograph the eclipse the next time it comes around. And last night I did just that. I have to admit that it was a learning experience. For everything that can go wrong did go wrong.

From technical problems with the camera, the cause of the problems was from the cold weather to high winds last night and freezing temperatures. When a cameras operation manual says

Operating conditions: Temperature: 0 C – +40 C / +32 F – +104 F

Believe the warning! Trust me on this!  The camera would give false power readings; you could not use any of the program settings I had set for it. Or it would just change the setting all by itself. An excessive shutter speed lag and problems with auto focus and manual focus as well. Granted the temperature last night go to be around 19 degrees F last night way below the cameras limits.

Now I know you might be asking “Would I use the camera again?” My answer is “yes” the reason is the fact that I did push the camera to its limits. And to be honest I have an idea now of what to expect for the winter season and first snow fall.

Then of course there is the moon itself. After all it’s a moving target in the sky when you are trying to photograph it. Before the lunar eclipse I did do test photos and I gave all my equipment a system review just to make sure that all components were working correctly.

But it still did not prepare me for what was to come later that night. I was going through my own version of the lunar mission Apollo thirteen.

If you recall your history the lunar mission failed due to a catastrophic system failure. We all hear the stories of how things and people act differently under a full moon, and that was the case for me the other night.

But overall I got what I wanted and that was pictures of the lunar eclipse. And like I had mentioned it was a learning experience for me. The photos were taken last night during the time of 12:30 am to around 4:30 am EST. a few test photos were taken at around 5:50 pm just as the moon was starting to rise over the horizon, some of the photos might seem blurry and that was due to the high winds and focus along with auto focus systems failing due to the very cold temperatures.  Below are the photos of the event. And maybe the next time around I will have a better idea of what to expect in similar conditions.

The photo below is one of the test photos taken at 5:50 pm EST just as the moon was starting to rise.

The remaining photos below are from the lunar eclipse event from the night.

The photo above was taken at 7:03 pm EST.

This photo above was taken at 12:37 am EST the official start of the eclipse cycle. You will notice that the moon seem brighter at this point in time.

You will notice in the photo above by the upper left corner of the moon that the eclipse is beginning to start, this photo was taken at 1:34 am EST.

At 2:09am EST the moon is no longer a full moon as you can see from the photo above.

At 2:26 am EST the moon above is almost gone.

Now this photo above you can just barely see the moon (Look closely… You can see a very small part of it.) just before the change of color, this photo was taken at 2:38 am EST

And now the moment you have been waiting for the eclipse of the moon with the change of color. The time was 2:39 am EST when this photo below was taken. For this photo I actually had to stop using the flash in order to capture the moon.

At 2:41 am EST according to NASA the full eclipse was in full effect the photo below was taken at that exact moment.

At 3:56 am EST you will see below that the normal color of the moon is starting to come back. You will start to notice the white color of the moon near the top of it.

At a time of 3:57 am EST I thought not to use a flash for the photo below, just so that you can see the curve of the moon as the eclipse was starting to end.

As you can see from the photo above, the moon is starting to return. This photo was taken at 4:05 am EST

Now the next two photos below I find every interesting, the first photo was taken with no flash and you can see that the moon at this post is half its original color. The second photo taken with a flash and you can not see the lower part of the moon with the naked eye. The time was around 4:19 am EST.

From the photo below you can see that the moon is almost back to normal. The time was around 4:41 am EST The image blow is the reflection of the moon that was caught in the image.

And the final image below is just when the moon fully returns. You will notice by the lower right of the moon has a slight cure to it.This photo was taken at 4:58 am EST.

At that point I thought I have gotten all the photos I needed. And proceeded to pack my gear and call it a night. An event such as this does not come by often, but it was worth every minute of it.

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