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Lunar Eclipse

by Michael Chu
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Because I'm having the carpet in my condominium changed, we've moved everything that was in the living area into the kitchen, so I'm unable to cook. Fortunately, even though I wasn't able to use my kitchen, I was still able to take some time to partake in my other favorite hobby: photography.

There was a total lunar eclipse tonight which is a great excuse to pull out the long lenses and take a few pictures. (I couldn't spend too much time on it because I needed to finish moving all the furniture before the carpet people come tomorrow.)

The weather was not cooperative as the lunar eclipse began. The sky was covered in clouds to the east, and I couldn't make out the moon except for a small glowing area of the sky. After dinner, I took another look and the moon had moved into a thinner cloud region where you could make out the general shape and color. It had taken on a decidedly copper color from the refracted light that enters the shadow of the earth. I noticed that the clouds were getting thinner, so I grabbed my gear and setup my tripod outside my condo. Picture after picture came out fuzzy or motion blurred because of the cloud cover (fuzzy because the clouds diffuse the light from the moon, motion blurred because sometimes the clouds were so thick that I had to use exposures long enough to have the moon traverse a noticeable amount of the frame during the exposure). This is one of the few passable photos of the total eclipse. Nothing salable, but still fun to capture.

I then went back indoors and packed up more stuff. When I came outside again to move some boxes to storage, I took a glance at the moon and found that it had moved into an opening in the clouds. We were now in a partial eclipse and the shadow of the earth was moving at what seemed like a noticeable pace. I ran back inside and grabbed my camera and setup again outside.

Partially Eclipsed Moon (500mm, f/11, 1/80 sec. manual exposure on a Nikon D100 at ISO 200 equivalence)

When the shadow was about to completely leave the moon, the break in the clouds ended and the moon slipped under the haze. I packed up and went back inside.

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on October 27, 2004 at 11:34 AM
8 comments on Lunar Eclipse:(Post a comment)

On October 20, 2005 at 01:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Well done Michael!!! Pleased that you had the carpets booked at such an opportune time. And that you own such a good cmaera. Looking into the night sky is always a great reminder of how wonderful the universe is. and it's Creator too. Cheers Mark from Oz

On October 20, 2005 at 01:58 PM, Johneegeek_repost (guest) said...
Wow, awesome pictures! A 500mm lens? I'm jealous.

On October 20, 2005 at 01:59 PM, Alredhead (guest) said...
That's totally awesome! I'm in an Astronomy Lab class on Wednesdays. So, my entire class were taking notes, making drawings, and watching our lectures (finally!) come alive! It was a beautiful site, even though we also had lots of problems with heavy cloud coverage. We were thinking that it was a great time of year for a lunar elipse, with Halloween and all right around the corner. A few of us tried to take pictures, but none of our lens were powerful enough to zoom in, could I use your pics on my blog? I want to show what I was looking at, and I will give you full credit with a link to this particular posting.

Much appreciated,


On October 20, 2005 at 01:59 PM, Michael Chu said...

Go ahead and use the photos, just include the statement "Courtesy of Michael Chu" with it.

On October 20, 2005 at 01:59 PM, Alredhead (guest) said...
Thank you Mr. Chu!

On October 20, 2005 at 01:59 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Did you take multiple exposures on the same frame or did you composite the images to get the four shots in one?

On October 20, 2005 at 02:00 PM, Michael Chu said...
It's a composite of four photos.

On December 21, 2005 at 08:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I know it's a bit late, but I've just been introduced to your site (great site by the way!). Beautiful photographs of the lunar eclipse a few months back.

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