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May 15, 2003 Total Lunar Eclipse
The moon slid into the Earth's shadow on May 15th,
2003. A lot of the United States was clouded out, and I was afraid I
would be also. Luckily, just after the eclipse started, the clouds
broke and the sky cleared. I was able to get some photographs of the
eclipse, which turned out nicely. Here they are:
Start of the Eclipse, photograph taken at 9:09 PM
Photograph of the Moon over some houses at the start
of the eclipse, showing the clouds that were just clearing: Taken at
9:12 PM CDT.
Next, I took 3 shots through my 76mm Newtonian
telescope, during the partial phases of the eclipse, taken at 9:20
PM, 9:27 PM and 9:32 PM:
A deep red hue started showing in the shadow
visually (and photographically) at around 9:34 PM CDT. Here are
several shots showing it, taken at 9:34 PM and 9:55 PM:
Eclipse Mid-Totality was at 10:40 PM. I was able to
capture an image of it during totality, about 20 minutes before the
mid-point (totality lasted nearly an hour, so there was plenty of
time to capture it before and after the mid-point). It started to
cloud up again at about 10:30 PM, and by 11:00 PM it was totally
overcast, effectively ending the eclipse for me. Here's my last shot,
during totality. The Moon was pretty dark, and it took a few seconds
to locate it at this time. Image taken at 10:19 PM CDT.
My setup was a Nikon EM 35mm SLR, a 205mm telephoto
lens combined with a 2x telesconverter (yielding 410mm focal length),
a tripod, and my 76mm Newtonian reflector with a 25mm eyepiece,
giving a magnification of 28x. Fujifilm 800 speed print film was
used. I allowed the camera to use auto-exposure for all shots except
totality that was a 4 second manual exposure.