Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

This week Australia experienced a total lunar eclipse, and we had a great view from our deck. Thanks to a tripod, an itchy finger on the shutter button, and some photoshop expertise from Meghan, here's a quick sequence of how the moon looked. From 6:51 pm to 10:24 pm on the 28th, the Earth's shadow swept over the full moon. For an hour and a half in between, no part of the moon received direct sunlight, but the scattered red light from a thousand sunrises and sunsets around the Earth lit it up with an eerie red glow...
Lunar Eclipse
It was astonishing how dramatic and sudden the change was between a black-and-white moon and one lit up in red! We also "discovered" something while watching the eclipse. As you can see, the Earth's shadow enters and leaves the moon at different angles, proving yet again that the Earth is round - or at least, not rectangular!

(Update: These frames were captured on a Canon EOS Digital XT with a Canon 100/f2.8 lens. Exposures ranged from 1/100 sec to 3 sec. With a telescope, you can do much better: for example, see this, and this beautiful sequence.)


Anonymous said...

This is an amazingly professional picture...looks like straight from the text book! Maini

Caitlin Loehr said...

Amazing pictures!!

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