Total Eclipse of the Moon (December 10, 2011) #2

This was the view well into totality as the eclipsed Moon set into the morning twilight sky. On December 10 we got a fantastic view of the total lunar eclipse at dawn, with the red Moon over the Rockies.

I shot this from the grounds of the Rothney Observatory in the foothills southwest of Calgary. The Moon is completely in Earth’s shadow here but with its southern or bottom edge brighter than the top, so it overexposes here. This view captures the scene as the eye saw it, at about 7:30 a.m. local time, an hour before sunrise and moonset.

A full house of 100 people showed up at the Observatory for a public event and breakfast. I dare say they got the best view of this eclipse of anyone in Canada.

— Alan, December 10, 2011 / Image © 2011 Alan Dyer


Total Eclipse of the Moon (December 10, 2011) #1

It has been a long time between Blog posts, with no new astrophotos from me for a while. But the drought ends due to thankfully fine conditions for the total eclipse of the Moon, on Saturday morning, December 10.

Skies were wonderful and the conditions actually pleasant for a winter morning at 6 a.m. For us in southern Alberta, the Moon went into eclipse as it descended into the western sky in the pre-dawn hours. The timing wasn’t convenient, but the view more than made up for the effort of getting up at 3 a.m. to drive west out of cloud to the Rothney Observatory. Their location in the foothills proved clear and perfect for looking west, to see the Moon over the Rockies.

This is one of my earlier shots in the 3-hour event, taken just before totality began, when the Moon was still in a dark sky. The camera was on a tracking platform to keep the stars from trailing during the 30 second exposure, causing the ground to trail instead.

You can see the Pleiades cluster at right, and Betelgeuse in Orion at left.

This was the last total eclipse of the Moon anywhere in the world until April 14, 2014.

— Alan, December 10, 2011 / Image © Alan Dyer 2011


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