Lunar Eclipse October 27, 2004

Lunar Eclipse 6:25PMWe didn’t have time to really prepare for this, the last full lunar eclipse until 2007. I was able to set up the D100 digital camera on a tripod. This shot was captured shortly after sunset (taken at about 6:25PM Pacific), over the hills east of Castro Valley, California.

The bright dot to the upper right of the moon was a jetliner.

This shot was captured at ISO 800, 1/20 sec, f10. The moon disappeared shortly after this picture was taken, but came back later. Exposures up to 2 seconds later caught the red glow, but I didn’t use a remote shutter release and there was some blurring, so I’m not posting here.

For a large 1024×768 verion of this JPG, click the image to the left.

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More Moonacy

The afternoon and evening we enjoyed more the gift of clear, relatively settled air. We captured two more moon shots, thumbnailed and described below. Each image was stitched from two photographs for the full field of view. Photos were taken July 7, 2003 with the Nikon D-100 and the Meade 8″ LX-90 telescope. Shots were all ISO 1000 at 1/200 second. Images are savable as desktop pictures, as well!


Moon, daytime color 07-07-03

This daytime color photo of the moon was taken at 6PM. The moon appears through the telescope as if viewed through a blue haze or filter (Earth’s sunlit atmosphere), much as it appears in the sky here. You will see a surprising amount of detail on the Moon’s surface in the full-size image (to view or save, click the thumbnail to the left).Panorama Factory was able do do a better job of stitching the two halves of this picture. The splice line is vertical because we had to rotate images for Panorama Factory to know which was the “top” and “bottom” image. Left is top.

Moon 754PM 07-07-03

This photo was taken in twilight at 7:54 PM. I don’t think I remembered to convert to grayscale, because there is so little color information. Again, we found the detail better than previous nights’ efforts — and perhaps we are focusing the primary mirror a little better, too.I stitched this one by hand. You will have to work hard to find the seam. (To view or save, click the thumbnail to the left).

Alex 7-7-2003

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Moon 7-6-2003, prime focusPrime focus photography with the Nikon D100 and Meade 8″ LX-90 telescope, Phoenix, July 2003:

This composite is featured today. Click the image to the left for a 900X1111 50% scale JPEG of the original composite. It’s a small 57K download.

Practice, practice, practice. Last night we used our QuantaRay 2X teleconverter for a 4-part composite of the Moon at about the first quarter. We missed a piece, and there was a big bite out of the moon’s limb that made it look like PacMan.

We had also done a series of two, without the teleconverter. These spliced together easily. Converting to grayscale, it’s hard to see the splice.
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Lunar Eclipse May 15, 2003

The TV news people warned us: moonrise would be right about at sunset. The lunar eclipse would already be in full swing. The sky would be bright. And it would be hazy. We might not see anything until it was almost over, if then.

We have a decent view of the northern skies from our new apartment balcony, but can’t see the moon from that orientation. We trekked to the other end of the complex where there are some small public balconies with a southern exposure. Moonrise should have occurred from the southeast, but there are eucalyptus trees that obstruct the view near the horizon.

We couldn’t see a dang thing. We tossed in the towel at 8:55PM and trudged back. We have a little Orion 5″ Mak telescope, but I didn’t want to lug it around if we had to go balcony-hopping for a good view, and we did have to do that, with no success. So all I had to tote was a tripod, camera and a 200mm fixed manual telephoto lens.

I took one last look from the parking lot beefore we went back inside. “I’ll be dipped … there it is!”
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