Lunar Eclipse going on Right Now

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Robert Watcher, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Looked out my door and the moon looked unique tonight. Hadn't heard - - - but there is a lunar eclipse tonight. All I have is a 300mm lens with my E-PL3, and so I grabbed a couple before the moon goes below the horizon in a little while

    © 2013 Robert Watcher

    © 2013 Robert Watcher

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  2. Colorbright

    Colorbright Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks very much for the post! I'm also in Ontario right now, so as soon as I saw your post, I went outside, but there was just too much cloud cover in this area for me to see the eclipse. Still really appreciate your photos, though!:smile:
  3. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran


    Should have researched a little deeper. Looks like there was not an eclipse tonight (have I got egg on my face). The moon did look unique in the sky. Oh well - can't win them all.

    At least I did catch the full eclipse in Costa Rica in 2008:

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  4. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    Yep, I was about to say that in a Lunar Eclipse, it's very difficult to see the moon as it's covered by the earth. But only for a short while, mostly it's red. I think I shot a partial Lunar eclipse way back. I'll try to find it later as soon as I get home. I hope it wasn't among the files that got deleted due to a corrupt hard drive. :)
  5. Colorbright

    Colorbright Mu-43 Regular

    Hey, don't feel too bad about it. But your photos ARE interesting - so just what did cause this effect? That's what I'd like to find out.
  6. Colorbright

    Colorbright Mu-43 Regular

    Oh, and LOVE your image sequence of this previous eclipse! Gorgeous! Thanks for posting it :smile::2thumbs:
  7. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    The moon is getting relatively close to the sun so only a thin slither thats visible from the earth is in sunlight, the remainder of the moon is lit by 'earthshine' - sunlight reflected from the earth.
    Not an unusual effect but the moon did look particularly clear last night, on my way home from work - too low for a reasonable view by the time I got home to my cameras :frown:
  8. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    Can't find it. Meh. They're not worth it anyway. I forgot to borrow a tripod at that time lol.

    And your pictures are wayyyy nicer. How'd you get the 2nd one?
  9. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Both were handheld. I don't have a tripod with me in Nicaragua either. I braced my camera against the door frame and the lens against the metal gate for stability. Fortunately the moon was close to the rooftops near the horizon, and so the angle and positioning of the moon in the frame worked well.

    I set my E-PL3 to Anti-Shock for 2 seconds to minimize any vibration and allow me to push the camera against the frame after pressing the shutter. Exposure setting was Manual. Aperture was wide open at f5.6 or closed down just a bit, and then I played with different shutter speeds to have shots with a brighter moon with no surface definition, to a properly exposed moon with surface details. The second shot was 800 ISO f5.6 @ 1/125'th second. I shoot in JPEG mode not RAW.

    Processing in Lightroom 5, I added sharpening for the moon details (I don't normally apply sharpening in-camera) . Then because I only had access to a maximum f 300mm equivalent with my 40-150 m4/3 zoom lens, I cropped severely to get the moon to fill the frame better.
  10. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Good explanation. The moon was just very unique looking tonight. It was low in the sky - which may have had an effect on it - as well as Venus being so bright and clear just above and to the left of the moon. The sky was so crystal clear as well.

    Checking online, I see that it is simply the sliver of the moon that we always see on the second day of a "young moon" during it's phases.
  11. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL

    A lunar eclipse can only happen exactly at Full Moon. A those times, the Moon will be 180 degrees from the Sun. They are somewhat rare.

    A few days before and after New Moon the Moon appears as a very thin crescent. These happen every 28 days and are thus very common. Just prior to New Moon the crescent is a Waning Crescent (getting thinner by the hour) and appears near the Sun and is best seen near dawn when the Moon rises before the Sun and can be seen against a darkish sky. Just after New Moon the Moon appears as a Waxing Crescent (getting wider by the hour) and is best viewed at sunset as the Moon sets after the Sun. When the sky is very clear, these thin crescent Moons also display the full face of the moon lit by Earthshine when viewed near sunrise or sunset.

    Here in Key West FL, this month's 2-3 day old Waxing Crescent put on a very nice display just after sunset.
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