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 CDT.

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.