Last night we enjoyed the spectacle of a total lunar eclipse in the most excellent viewing conditions. The sky was clear, at least in Canberra, so there was no need to do anything other than look. My partners’ photo on his digital SLR (on a tripod) even captured ‘nearby’ stars.
With my handheld ‘point and shoot’ camera
you could only describe the results as having a certain ‘something’ about them.
The artist in me did regret the absence of at least a few clouds as I suspect the colouring on them might have been quite something. In the end I made do with a watercolour to commemorate the event.
Of course the local comentariat, who had clearly watch too many episodes of The Vikings, insisted on calling this a ‘blood’ moon. To add to the astronomical frenzy it was also pointed out that there were two other ‘red’ objects in the western sky, Mars setting apparently close to Antares, (Alpha Scorpii) in the constellation of Scorpius, that could be seen at the same time. And a nice juxtaposition they formed too.
My description of the colour reflected on the moon was definitely closer to Burnt Sienna, than any of the true reds, but then … when I was checking the photos prior to posting today I noticed one thing. On the right hand side of the last picture I took (even with the dodgy handheld camera) you can just see a much darker red disk starting to occlude the lunar surface. Dang! I think we probably missed the deepest part of the eclipse.
OK, don’t panic, don’t panic! According to Aunty ABC, This last photo of mine was taken just 2 minutes before the peak of the eclipse. You can see more photos from the ABC website here.