Lunar Eclipse


Here is a compiled shot of the Lunar Eclipse that occurred early on 28th September 2015 – made up from 10 images, each around 5 minutes apart.  This shows the entry of the moon into the Earth’s umbral shadow and, once fully in shadow, the rusty red ‘blood’ moon due to being lit by the light passing through the Earth’s atmosphere – further details on Wikipedia.  This eclipse was particularly unusual as it coincided with a ‘super-moon’ – the moon was at the closest point on it’s elliptical orbit round the Earth – the next time this will occur with a lunar eclipse (and be visible from the UK) will be in 2033.

The individual shots of the moon were quite straight forward – camera mounted on a tripod using at 300mm, Nikon mount, zoom lens – the moon in the images was quite small, but having a 16M sensor helps here – could have done with a 600mm lens (a 2x teleconverter would have done the trick).  Would have liked to get the images I could see through my 114mm Newtonian Reflector telescope – they were superb, but attempts at the this the previous night, proved unsuccessful – you’ll have to take my word on how good they were – more planning required!

Local time, BST (i.e. GMT+1), made this lunar eclipse a little inconvenient – the start of the partial (umbral) eclipse started at 02:07, with the full eclipse (blood moon) starting at 03:11 – this is the part that I watched – my first shot above was taken at 02:15 and the last shot I took was at 03:20 (though not used above) – the full eclipse finished at 04:23, and the partial phase at 05:27.  I had long since gone back to bed for an extra couple of hours before getting up to go to work…nature just doesn’t understand that a Saturday night would have been so much more convenient!  Thankfully, while it was cold (down to 2°C by 06:00), the skies were clear – more than could be said for the last celestial event I tried to capture! – see Thwarted Eclipse

Post processing:

The images were imported into Lightroom for some initial adjustment – increasing the exposure, contrast and ‘clarity’ – I also sharpened and reduced noise (images were shot at ISO 1600…and while good, there is some noise present)

The images were exported into Photoshop so that I could compile the arrangement of the ten moons in layers to create the image you see above.

Technical details:

Fuji X-E1;300mm(Sigma 70-300mm APO zoom – Nikon mount);f/4.5;1/2-1/2000s;ISO1600; Tripod

4 thoughts on “Lunar Eclipse

    • Of course…but I chose this as it matched the direction of travel of the moon during the eclipse…

    • I set the alarm for 02:00…got up (having prepped the camera and telescope in the garage during the evening…meant that everything was cool too, preventing condensation) – watched the eclipse for just over an hour (felt OK at the time, but knew I would pay for it later!) and then back to bed…and back up again at 05:15…slept solidly on the train! All part of the pain to get the shot you want!

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