Lunar Eclipse | 15 May 2022

The skies cleared as evening approached. The Moon was aligned with Earth and the Sun. Their syzygy at 9:30 pm CDT brought the Moon into the umbra of the Earth’s shadow. Desktop software gave a simulated view like this. The faint inner circle is the umbra. The larger circle is the penumbra.

My camera was mounted on a tripod and set for capturing images about every 15 minutes starting at 9:30. The images were cropped to place the umbra in nearly the same place in each image. That placement highlighted the movement of the Moon over the 15 minute time periods between photos.

The settings for the first 4 images were all identical. For the 5th image, the Moon was very close to total eclipse and quite darkened. I increased the exposure to be able to see it more clearly. That overexposed the upper right limb of the Moon.

About 10 minutes after the Moon was totally eclipsed, another event got my attention. I zoomed the camera all the way and adjusted the exposure. The Moon’s redness showed nicely. Also in the view were 2 stars. The one nearest the Moon at the bottom was about to be occulted as the Moon moved down and left slowly.

10:41 pm CDT

Here is a simulated view of the same scene and time as my image at 10:41 CDT using desktop software. Notice it is actually a double star.

Simulation using Starry Night Pro 8 software.

Two minutes later at 10:43 pm CDT, I took another image of the Moon and could not see the double stars any more. They were occulted by the Moon. It is through events such as eclipse and occultation that the dynamic nature of the solar system shows itself.

10:43 pm CDT

7 thoughts on “Lunar Eclipse | 15 May 2022

  1. Absolutely fantastic photos and descriptions. I really liked seeing the occulted stars. It was cloudy in the valley bottom and rain in the mountains here. Very disappointing. Glad you were able to see the eclipse and get some shots.

    • Thanks. It was fun to see the stars. They didn’t appear until full eclipse. I had hoped to get video. But, camera settings changed and stopped me.

  2. Nice to see your images they are very well presented.

    If you wondered where the clouds are – they’re over here!

    I thought this video from Gemini Observatory was pretty cool too:

    🙃

    • Thank you, sir. I hope the clouds will part for both of us. I have a couple of things I’m watching for in the next several days. Venus and the Moon are near each other on the 26-27th, Jupiter is very close to Mars early on the 29th, and there might be a new meteor shower on the 30th.
      That video was really neat. I liked how the stars and Milky Way got so bright at mid-eclipse. Thanks for sending.

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