Dec 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Total Lunar Eclipse

Orson Bradbury came out of storage and instead of working in dust, he got a workout in the snow. Oddly, or maybe not, the temperature in Bend was a balmy 30 which was warmer than several nights up at the observatory last June where it got down to 28.

Orson Bradbury in September up at PMO

Sunset - uh oh, that's a big cloud
The last total lunar eclipse was about 3 years ago. Occurring on the winter solstice is rarer. The last one happened about 400 years ago. I hope you got to see it. I've seen pictures on the web that got a deeper orange than we did, but it was an awesome thing to watch.

I peeked out the window a little before 11:00 p.m. pacific time and saw the shadow of the Earth just starting to nip at the full moon. So Husband and I got Orson out in the driveway and went and asked the next door neighbors to turn off their porch lights.

About 11:40, the moon was completely dark. Here are some of the photos I captured. When we started there was a big fat cloud right over the moon, but it went off thankfully.

Full moon behind some cloud cover

The eclipse begins. Despite the big cloud - giving the photo the
grainy appearance - you can see the shadow of the Earth
on the Moon
This is how you know the world is round - you can see the curve
of the Earth on the Moon
More of the Moon is swallowed in shadow
The view not through the telescope
You can see some of the peachy / orangish color of the Moon
in this photo
And the full Moon gets smaller

and smaller
The Moon is almost gone

Did you get to see any of the eclipse? Please share your story.