21 january 2000
Lunar Total Eclipse
by Lorenzo Comolli
After a 1999 full of astronomical shows, the 2000 couldn't be started in a better way: the Total Lunar Eclipse was propitiated with a wonderful clear sky! I and some friends of GAT Astronomical Center attended to the eclipse from a field near Tradate (VA, Italy, in lowland), with a good visual at the West horizon.
My objective was to take a sequence of images with the 20cm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain, at 15 minutes time intervals. The exposures started at 2.30 UT and ended at 6.30 UT.  Because of the constant time steps I realized an animation of the whole eclipse.
In the animation you can notice the apparent rotation in clock-wise direction of the bright and dark parts. In reality it's the Moon that was moveing in the Earth's shadow cone. Another particular is the reddening of the Moon in the exit phase, because of the approaching to the horizon.

The image at right is a three hour exposure of the Moon. Note that the eclipse was very low on the horizon.

3 hours exposure on Kodak Gold 25 ASA, 28mm objective closed at f/16. Started at 2.30 and ended at 5.30 UT.

Click on the image for a higher res version.

Here are in details all the images used to compose the animation and the picture of the whole eclipse.
Technical data: 8" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Kodak PJ-400 film, times of exposure and hours are written under each image.

2.30 UT (1/500)

2.45 UT (1/500)

3.00 UT (1/500)

3.15 UT (1/250)

3.30 UT (1/250)

3.45 UT (1/60)

4.00 UT (1/30)

4.00 UT (4 sec)

4.15 UT (8 sec)

4.30 UT (8 sec)

4.45 UT (15 sec)

5.00 UT (15 sec)

5.15 UT (15 sec)

5.30 UT (8 sec)

5.30 UT (1/8)

5.45 UT (1/60)

6.00 UT (1/125)

6.15 UT (1/250)

6.30 UT (1/125)


For every comment about images, or about my bad english: comolli@libero.it

HTML Editing and Publishing by Lorenzo Comolli. Email me at comolli@libero.it.
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