Friday, June 17, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

We stayed up on Wednesday (15th June) night to watch the lunar eclipse.  Marius took some photos which appear below.  They are hand-held and there was lots of light pollution as we did not plan an expedition to the desert, which would have been the sensible thing. These are spur of the moment shots, the first taken through the back window of our house and the rest from the corner of the street, virtually under a street lamp:  photography under difficulties.

I took some pictures too, but they mostly look like ice cream, so I won't waste your time with them.

Before the eclipse started:

And then the Earth's shadow gradually ate the moon:

As the shadow extended across the moon, the whole moon became a dusky red, as if seen through dirty red sunglasses.  Because the human eye adjusts in ways even a clever camera does not, the bright edge of the moon still looks white, even though to the eye, the whole moon was covered by the shadow of the earth.   You can see stars to the right of the moon, which shows how dark the moon really was.

It was a clear night for the Middle East, but the next picture shows how much suspended dust there is in the atmosphere, as the red light rays bounce off the dust particles.  The face of the moon was completely shadowed at this point, although it still looks like part is illuminated.

Watching the eclipse was remarkably and unexpectedly moving.



lucychili said...

wondrous universe

jabblog said...

I think they're pretty amazing photos. We would have seen only a partial eclipse, but it was a filthy night in UK so we didn't see anything!

ds said...

Breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

Jan Freeman said...

Well captured with a hint of mystery. Unfortunately, it was cloudy here.

Willow said...

Thank you for this eclipse experience. Wonderful photography.

The Paradoxical Cat said...

I watched the eclipse too, Isabel, from the warmth and comfort of my bed, looking out an upstairs window. It is midwinter here in New Zealand but as the eclipse happened just before dawn, it was very low in the sky hence I didn't have to go through the usual cricked neck and freezing cold that is part of eclipse watching in my part of the world. For us the shadow arrived on the top of the moon and swallowed downwards. Our sky was full of Chilean volcanic ash and the moon went a deep black-red and then vanished into the sunrise before setting.