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Thursday, February 01, 2018


My Images of the 31 January "super-blue-blood" Lunar eclipse (2018)

Just after start of totality at 23:21 ACDST 31 January, taken with my mobile phone through my 114 mm Newtonian scopetotality at 23:30 ACDST (note how the brightish patch is moving around)
Totality ending 00:46 ACDST (1 Feb)Well past totality 1:00 ACDST (1 Feb)
Nearly halfway over 1:12 ACDST (1 Feb)Totality just ending 00:42 ACDST (1 Feb) Canon IXUS with infinity-infinity focussing on telecope

After much anticipation (and organising of Moon viewing with friends) January 31 dawned cloudy. Skippy Sky, which had previously been optimistic, showed something like 90% cloud cover for the night.

None the less I got the 114 mm Newtonian reflector out, I thought there wasn't much point with the big reflector as there was a chance of rain, I could quickly move the small reflector into cover.

The Moon rose as a vaguely brighter patch in the cloud, hasty conference with friends and it was decided the Moon party was off. Checked occasionally but nothing to see until around 11:00 when my Beloved Life Partner, returning from Choir, pointed out a half eclipsed Moon peeking through the hazy overcast.Didn't see much of the  livestreams as I was popping in and out so much.

Got the cameras out, but the Moon played hide and seek until just after totality started. It was still covered with hazy cloud, but I could get some images with my mobile phone (just held to the 10 mm Plossl lens). Clouds thickened and thinned, but the sight of the ruddy Moon glowing through the haze was beautiful. MiddleOne came home late and I was able to show him the eclipsed Moon, he was impressed.

AS the eclipse came to the end, I had my canon IXUS set up with its special holder to image the end of the eclipse, I only got a couple of shots off before the battery ran out (drained from my attempts to image with uncooperative cloud).

I imaged the rest of the eclipse with my mobile phone again, most of the images are fuzzy because of the hazy cloud, but around halfway though the end of the eclipse a hole in the cloud came over and I was able to get a clear image. Then a huge bank of cloud covered the Moon, and I packed up the equipment and went to bed.

Despite the cloud, it was a beautiful eclipse, and the diminishing crescent playing hide and seek in the haze was a very different  atmosphere to any other eclipse I have seen. Well worth it all.

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