Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Mother Nature finally cooperated with an astronomical event and we had some clear skies that coincided with the September 27’th lunar eclipse. Living next to the ocean and less than an hour away from the world’s highest tides makes lunar events especially interesting. As the Sun set below the horizon and twilight began, a fellow RASC member and I headed to DeWolfe Park, on the shores of the Bedford Basin, to catch images of the event. Quite a few other people showed up, intent on getting some memorable pictures as well. Some brought tripods and DSLR’s, others came with point and shoot cameras and even cell phones, all aiming their cameras to photograph what the press had been billing as a “Supermoon Eclipse” (I really hate that term).

As the darkness arrived everybody started snapping images of a spectacular Moon rise. The image below shows a sequence of shots from just after Moonrise until about 9 PM local time. I was hoping to be able to capture images this way right through the eclipse, but the field of view of my system proved inadequate for the task and I had to settle for the moonrise sequence below. 

A little before 10 PM we began to notice the penumbral portion of the Earth’s shadow as a slight darkening of the lunar limb. Finally things started to progress to the actual eclipse and into totality with the Moon turning a faint red colour. As the eclipse proceeded I snapped several images roughly equally spaced from the first sign of the umbral shadow to totality. After a little work in an image processor stitching them together, I was able to get a reasonable eclipse sequence.

All in all I got to spend a very pleasant evening under some urban skies with several other people who were interested in imaging and viewing the night sky. We may even have picked up a new club member or two as several people stopped to chat and seemed quite interested in the RASC.

For some more information on the images please visit my main web site at nightanddayastrophotography.com.

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