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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Images from the December 21st Lunar Eclipse

The Moon rises above the smokestacks of THX power-plant in Northern Adelaide on Tuesday December 21, 2010, with the last of the Umbra, the Earth's inner shadow, slipping off. You can see the edge of the southern part of the Moon darkened (yes, the focus is rubbish, I can't set the camera to infinity of the short exposure settings, 1/15 of a sec in this case).

Being in Adelaide, the lunar eclipse was going to be rubbish. Watching the eclipse webcams was disappointing, as everybody seemed to be clouded out. But my Mum rang up and said she could see the Moon in shadow from the window of her kitchen in Brisbane, so I thought I'd have a go at seeing what little eclipse I could get here.

So I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed off to find a flat spot without too many houses in the way. I ended up on the platform of the local railway station, where I could see the Moon rising above the power station. Gratifyingly, I could see the definite dark patch on the south edge of the Moon. It loooked far more impressive than the pictures show.

I quickly set up the camera and started taking shots, just then a train pulled up and one of my Uni friends got out, I called here over to show her the dark patch, unfortunately a somewhat inebriated person also turned up, who was far more interested in discussing romance than looking at the Moon. A third person also turned up and was directed to the Moon, he was pretty amazed.

Unfortunately for my photography, focus was a problem (I can't focus to infinity when on the short exposure settings) as was the fact that the Moon hid behind the smokestacks for a while. Still, I saw part of an unusual eclipse, and was able to share it with some other folks. A pretty good evening after all.

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"Watching the eclipse webcams was disappointing, as everybody seemed to be clouded out"? To the contrary: There were several webcasts to chose from - all of which I advertised repeatedly on my Twitter feed - of surprisingly high quality. From this posting a series of screenshots can be accessed from the numbers 1 to 14 (as can be many still photos and picture albums I 'caught' at the same time).
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