The forecase is now a reasonable chance of rain in the next hour, so things are getting worse. At least I got one photo, but I’m still disappointed. I had high hopes for this lunar eclipse and now it’ll be April 15, 2014 before we get another shot at one. Four years! Arrgh.
December 21, 2010
I don’t think it’s the clouds themselves – I think it’s that the Moon isn’t shining brightly anymore and so it’s actually gotten quite dark outside.
I’ve been standing outside for 30 minutes and this was the only time I’ve seen the Moon, but I got a quick, decent shot. I’m hoping for more, but not liking my chances. The weather seems to potentially clear up in a couple hours to where it will only be MOSTLY cloudy…
December 20, 2010
Well the eclipse is tonight and it’s pretty cloudy here. I’m still going to get up around 1:00am and set up my scopes and cameras and hope for the best. It does seem to be thinning out…. The eclipse starts at 1:33am and will be total at 2:41, darkest at 3:17. Totality ends at 3:53am and the eclipse ends completely 5:01. Technically the penubral eclipse starts and ends an hour or so on either side, but that’s not really visible to humans, so it doesn’t count as far as I’m concerned.
I’m still hopeful that the clouds will clear long enough for me to get some decent eclipse photos tonight, but it’s not looking super promising. I’ve been waiting for this eclipse for a year and to have the weather not cooperate is very disappointing. It was the August 2007 eclipse photos that got my blog some notice and got me much more seriously into astronomy, and since then we’ve had clouds for both of the lunar eclipses (though last time I did get some images). Since this is the last one for a while I’m pretty disappointed. We’ll see, though – I’m definitely going to be up with my scopes, looking for holes in the clouds.
June 23, 2008
Well, the sky really isn’t clear enough for good viewing tonight, so I’m headed to bed, but before I head that way, I came across this article on MSNBC, which I was amazed by. One of the neat things about astronomy, is that you can generally run time forward and backward with a tremendous amount of accuracy (using software) to see what the sky looks like at a particular time and place. A couple of researchers at Rockefeller University in New York used software to date the return of Odysseus from the Trojan war to around noon on April 16, 1178 B.C.. This is not only because of the widely suspected reference to an eclispe which occurred in the Ionian islands at that time, but because there are a bunch of other astronomical clues as well, involving the Pleiades, Bootes, Ursa Major, Mercury, Venus and even more. While people had speculated that Homer was referring to an eclipse (and some science geeks in the early 1900′s thought it might be that eclipse that they were referring to), these folks ignored the eclipse clues and just used the other clues that they had. According to the article, “The scientists then searched for potential dates that satisfied all these astronomical references close to the fall of Troy, which has over the centuries been estimated to have occurred between roughly 1250 to 1115 B.C.” Read the article to find out their amazing results.
February 20, 2008
The image above was taken during totality. Unfortunately due to the clouds, getting any images was difficult, but I did manage to get a couple good ones. We had a wonderful time with all of the people that came by. It was great to talk to everyone and I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. I was just disappointed that the clouds couldn’t hold off. It would have been great for everyone to see Mars and Saturn.
Here are the last few images I took as the Moon came out of the Earth’s shadow:
I took a bit longer exposure on this one to bring out the detail in the shadowed areas:
Finally, in this shot, the Moon is about halfway out from the shadow:
Thanks again to everyone who came and I hope to be able to have another star party when the weather is nice and maybe even a bit warmer!
Here’s an 8.6 second shot during totality. You can see the lower limb is more illuminated with the blue light refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere.