Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse 2010

2010-12-21T11:24:10.133-07:00

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Last Night was the first time since December 21, 1638 that the Winter Solstice and a Lunar Eclipse occurred on the same night. Being a bit of a science and astronomy geek (as I think all geeks are), I was out with my camera every 15 min or so to catch the action. My equipment was my Nikon D90 a 105mm lens and a tripod. 


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This setup worked pretty good for the majority of the event. Though I did get some equipment envy later on for people posting who had 200mm+ lenses and remote cords for their camera. 


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I noticed a lot of people were just waiting for the big finish (eclipse totality) and not the process stages, which I thought was a shame, the whole even was pretty amazing. 


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I didn't see any lunar cultists out. I was kind of dissapointed. I imagine that such a group would probably play D&D and I am still looking for a group.


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Just a sliver of the moon left, but no cracking of the ground or gnashing of teeth or the gibbering of mad creatures in the dark... yet.

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Watching this occure you can begin to understand how events like this were batshit terrifying to ancient peoples.

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Moon is gone! It was really weird to see this happen.

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It all goes dark for a few seconds... and then...

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The whole moon goes red. If this was a movie there would be a dramatic gong as clouds clear to reveal the moon returned in red, and everything would be cast in a red glow. There was no gong or red glow, but it was still pretty neat.

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Here is where I really wished I had a remote. I had to mess with an extended exposure time for this last one, and even with the tripod there was the slightest wiggle when I set the camera to go off so it is not quite as crisp as I like but as best as I could get with my current equipment. This was at about 1:50am CST.

Sorry, I didn't stay up for the receding of the eclipse, if you like you can scroll up again and imagine the pictures flipped on the vertical axis. I couldn't believe that I was the only one out that was watching in my apartment complex. We all had perfect views from our various patios to see it, but no one else was out. It wasn't even that cold.

Anyway, I am waiting till after Christmas to see if I get the remote cord that is on my list, and if I don't I think I will get it for January. Winter is a prime time of year to do astrophotography because of how clear the sky can get. In the summer the atmosphere is often thick with moisture so you don't get as clear of pictures, but in the winter (if it isn't all frozen up there creating halos around everything) it can get extreamly clear.

I hope you all had a chance to see it in person, and if you didn't I hope I might have swayed to to stay up for the next Lunar Eclipse which will be June 15 2011 for South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Dec 10 2011 for Europe, East Africa, Asia, Australia, Pacific, and North America.


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