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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Copper Moon Chased by Clouds

Total lunar eclipse 2007-03-03

The total lunar eclipse of 2007-03-03 was a touch-and-go affair from Fourmilab. The sky had been mostly cloudy with the odd clear patch until after sunset, when it began to clear sufficiently that I began to hope I'd have a chance to observe the total lunar eclipse tonight. The Moon peeked in and out of the clouds during the partial phase, but was entirely obscured at the onset of totality. The clouds cleared only after mid-totality (23:21 UTC), and I was able to shoot this picture four minutes before the end of totality at 23:54 UTC; you can see the northeast lunar limb brightening as the Moon approaches the edge of the umbra. The star visible to the left of the Moon is 5th magnitude 59 Leonis which was occulted during the eclipse for certain lucky observers but not at Fourmilab.

This is a 2 second unguided exposure at sensitivity ISO 400 with a Nikon D200 digital camera and Nikkor 500 mm f/8 catadioptric “mirror lens”.

Posted at March 4, 2007 02:12