The previous post explained the nature of a total lunar eclipse and what to watch for. The post also described the four consecutive total lunar eclipses we can expect in the next two years, known as a tetrad.
I set the alarm for 2 am. Total eclipse was to begin for my location in eastern Iowa at 2:08 CDT. The camera settings were made the night before. It was already on the tripod. Images were from my front lawn.
For the photographers:
- Fuji FinePix S602 ZOOM at 6x
- ISO 200
- White Balance set to incandescent
- Exposure 2 seconds using the self-timer mode to avoid shake
- Focal Length 47 mm
- White level was set in each of the next four images using the star Spica at lower right
This diagram shows the path of the Moon across the penumbra and umbra of the Earth’s shadow. Times are for the eastern time zone. Times for my images are for central time zone.
2:09:03 am CDT
2:17:52 am CDT
2:27:52 am CDT
2:28:53 am CDT
While I waited for the Moon to progress through the umbra, I looked around the sky. It was perfectly clear. Almost overhead was Ursa Major, the Big Dipper. Scorpius was peeking over some rooftops as it traversed the south sky. Mars was to the upper right of the Moon and Spica. At this time, Earth and Mars are at their closest as we pass the red planet in our closer and faster orbit. Here is an animation from my planetarium software.
I turned the camera slightly and zoomed out a little to include Mars and the Moon in one image.
If you missed the show this time, North America and the Pacific will get the second total lunar eclipse in the tetrad October 8, 2014.