Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

This picture of the moon during the total lunar eclipse on Wednesday was taken about 6 minutes after totality.

I love how lightly colored this eclipse was, and how well the craters showed up as a result. A blood red one some decades ago was spectacular, but ones that take place with a relatively clear atmosphere and close to the edge of the umbra (like this one) have really nice shades of color.

Additional comments and some pictures that include Saturn are below the fold.

This photo was taken with a Nikon D70 and 300 mm lens from a tripod (3 sec at f/5.6 using a 250 ISO setting) by Mrs. Pion. [I would have preferred 400 ISO to more closely match a speed that worked well when I shot slides of past eclipses, but that's life. It's her camera!] Both this one and the next one had the long exposure noise reduction feature turned on. The image above has been cropped from the jpeg and was not saved at max quality. I haven't done anything from the raw files.

Saturn was next to the moon, clearly seen in the lower left of this frame taken about 18 minutes into totality. The finite size of the planet is obvious in comparison to the star visible above the moon. [This picture has been cropped and resized and was saved at fairly low quality settings.]

We got some great looks at Saturn and its rings with a spotting scope, but the lens we have on the camera is not big enough to to resolve much more than the oblong shape due to the rings.

This picture was taken about 25 minutes into totality.

1 comment:

Astroprof said...

Great photos! I was in the middle of a crowd of over 100 people and didn't set a chance to set up a tripod for my camera. I just got a few hand held snap shots (often through haze). The star in the image with the Moon and Saturn is Regulus. It is a hot, blue star.