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