Lunar Eclipse - 01/20/2000
night, January 20th, 2000 our planet Earth's shadow crossed
across the Moon producing a total lunar eclipse.
lunar eclipse, either partial or full, is the result of the
Moon passing through the Earth's Sun-produced shadow. As you
can see in the diagram, light from the Sun produces a shadow
into which the Moon sometimes crosses. The shadow is always
there, but the Moon is there only in rare instances such as
this. The following table was applicable to this event and lists
the times of the major milestones that occurred:
Lunar Eclipse Milestones for January 20, 2000
* Event occurs on morning of January 21, 2000
- Greenwich Mean Time
EST - Eastern Standard Time
PST - Pacific Standard Time
was cloudy for the majority of the day. Frankly, I didn't think
I'd get to see any of this one, but thankfully it cleared up
a bit as the time got closer. There was almost always a thin
haze in front of the Moon however. I got a late start on the
event. I could see the shadow begining to creep across the Moon
from the living room window before I had even finished dinner,
but since I was only going to the driveway I knew that I could
get things set up properly in short order. I went ahead and
got loaded up and ready around 7:17pm. I was able to begin generating
images by 7:21pm. Right around 7:50pm the clouds rolled in and
the rest of the event was covered. I never made it to totality.
Many thanks to Todd
Carlson for filling in the photos with an exceptionally
good totality photo!
equipment used included:
Celestron C4.5, diameter 114mm, f/l=900mm
- Film: 200
ASA Kodak Royal Gold
Eyepiece Projection through a Meade Tele-extender and camera
details for the above photos are in order of presentation from top
from Todd was a 15 second exposure done on Fuji 400 ASA film through
a 5" f/10 SCT telescope at 11:45pm local time in Toronto,
might appear that exposures #1 and #2 are reversed in their times
because one is brighter than another the illusion is actually
a result of a longer exposure time in #2 than in #1. That made
the Moon look more full than it should have. I made a complete
log of every photo in a lab notebook. That came in handy after
the fact to review what exposures worked and what didn't.
this event I used a technique called "eyepiece projection".
The variant on the method used in my tutorial
is that I was able to make use of new piece of equipment in my bag
- a camera adapter and tele-extender that actually holds an eyepiece
right up to the film plane and inserts into the focusing tube easily.
There are no lenses used on the camera. Instead, the tele-extender
is attached to the camera via a T-mount. This method was very exciting
and I'll have to expand more on it later. I feel that it can really
free my lunar imaging skills up to make some better photos.
didn't use the camera's meter very much due to the fact that the
black background would overwhelm it's measurements and produce an
errant recommendation. I chose to bracket above and below recommended
shutter speeds. Since I didn't use a camera lens, as this was straight
eyepiece projection through the tele-extender, I didn't have control
of the aperture. The only exposure control I had was through shutter
speed. The most common shutter speeds were around 1/30 and 1/60.
Occasionally I pushed it to 1/125 and 1/15, but I didn't try that
I'd do differently...
People south of my area reported that they had clear skies for
the entire event.
- Try to
get a hold of a brighter focusing screen. A lot of the photos
didn't come out very clear and I'm left to wonder whether or
not it was focusing that might have contributed to it.
eclipse sites I'd recommend:
Espenak's Eclipse Site
Carlson's Simple Astrophotography Eclipse Photos
Dale Ireland's Lunar Eclipse Site