Total Lunar Eclipse of January 20-21, 2019

February 06, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Mother Nature played a trick on us here in New England -- but this time, for the better!  I am talking about the astronomical event of January 20-21, 2019 when our earth comes between the sun and the moon creating a total lunar eclipse!

2018 was a terrible year for us here in the northeast with more cloudy nights and rainy weather than usual.  Many of our astronomical events were cancelled or not observed.  We were hoping that 2019 would not continue the pattern.  The predictions for the last total lunar eclipse visible here in the northeast until 2022, weatherwise, was not good starting out.  The beginning of winter started out tranquil and then, of course, a winter storm was forcasted for the evening of the eclipse and then followed by a blast of artic air that would send temperatures down into the single digits!

But, we got lucky this time.  The storm started late at night on the 19th and had moved out by the evening of the 20th allowing for mostly clear skies but bitter cold temperatures for the eclipse.  Normally, I would set up my telescope with my 35mm DSLR attached for prime focus photography but the eclipse started late at night and continued into the early morning hours and the temps were in the single digits.  I had no motivation to set up my rig in those extremes so I opted for a quick lunar imaging session by setting up my camera on tripod with a 35mm Canon 6D and Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L lens on tripod with remote shutter.  I was just happy that I was able to observe this celestial event and be able to capture a few images.

I captured several images showing the beginning partial phase and "totality".  After review, editing and processing, I was pleased to see that my images were sharp, detailed and well exposed.  Although, I did not have the focal length I needed (at least 400-600mm) or more, I was happy with what I captured.  At last, we got a much deserved break from the cloudy nights and now waiting until 2022 for the next TLE won't seem as bad.

 


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