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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Images from the April 15 Twilight Lunar Eclipse

I had my viewing spot all picked out for the eclipse when I got home, but unfortunately I got lost driving there. I ended up on the lookout above Mutton Bird Cove, nice stable surface on a rise with only a low line of hills between me and the rising Moon.

As the Sun set I scanned just above the hills while setting up the camera and the separate telescope camera combination (4" Newtonian reflector with 20 mm Plossl lens and Canon IXUS in infinity-infinity apposition). My mate Tony and his partner turned up and set up their cameras (serious cameras). Fortunately, they bought the one thing I didn't bring. mosquito repellent to deal with the clouds of ravenous blood suckers that had descended on me.

Just the I noticed the tiny sliver of Moon that had climbed above the hills, and rushed to get the scope on it (I had aimed too far to the left). I had not expected two things, how dim the eclipsed Moon would be in the horizon murk, and the degree of turbulence. The video above shows exactly how bad the turbulence was, I didn't get anything like a decent shot until the eclipse was nearly at an end.

Still even though the rising eclipsed Moon was nearly impossible to see early in the twilight, and the red of the dark part of the Moon was not as pronounced as it rose higher in the sky, it had a very eerie, ethereal quality, especially rising over the sinewy marshes of Mutton Bird cove with the pale hills beyond. The others got some great shots of the eclipsed Moon reflected in the rivulets of the cove.The growing sliver of Moon was oriented in a way no actual crescent Moon would be (facing the wrong way and almost vertically aligned in the beginning. Mats was it's companion early on, the rusty planet and the rusty chip of Moonadding to the unearthly feeling.

I had to pack up before the end (my family were wondering what had happened to me), but aside from the hordes of mosquitoes it was a unique and wonderful experience, the pale rddish chip of Moon suspended over the blue hills of one side, the flaming colours of the sunset seen through the industrial landscape on the other, it was fantastic. 

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Well done Ian. We had clouds here. I was working on site amongst the mozzies, but when We got back to the office near 1900, there was a break in the cloud to see the moon with a sliver of full illumination and the rest a darkening coppery red.
Well, thank you for this. Here in Mackay (almost on the coastline, north of the city) we did finally see the end of it.Too many trees around us and light pollution from neighbours.But Mars looked pretty good before the clouds closed in though the moon never really looked "red."
Lucky buggers, and not just the mozzies... I loved your story and the pics, thanks heaps for this awesome blog. It was all cloud for us up here in Cairns so I love hearing from the unobscured. Cheers!
It was great, and it's nice to see others have been out enjoying this exciting sight too. Question; all these images appear to be reversed. Have I missed something?
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