9 january 2001
Lunar Total Eclipse
by Lorenzo Comolli
All the images are realized from Tradate (VA, ITALY), all the times are in UT.
Composition of 18 photos realized from 17.35 to 21.20 UT, at steps of about 15 minutes (when the clouds permits). Realized with a 8" SC at f/10, Kodak Supra 400 and PJ-400 film.

About a year after the wonderful 20 january 2000 Lunar Total Eclipse, the sky gave as another chance to observe the game of lights and shadows between Sun, Earth and Moon.
The beauty of a Lunar Total Eclipse is that it can be observed in tranquillity, because the total phase last an average of about an hour. Not like the European Total Solar Eclipse of 1999... So there is all the time to do the observations at naked eye, binocular and telescope, to realize a lot of images of the event, to chat with the friend about the event.
This Eclipse was also very comfortable to observe in the evening. The Totality was from 20.49 to 21.51 of local time (19.49-20.51 UT).
One of the principal observations done during the Eclipse regards the brightness of the Moon. It's known that the typical red colour of the eclipsed Moon is due to the solar light filtered by the Earth's high atmosphere, so the more the atmosphere is "dirty", the more the Eclipse is dark. For example the 10 dicember 1992 eclipse was very dark because of the preceding eruption of Mt Pinatubo volcano (june 1991).
The observation of this year state a level of brightness between 2 and 3 in the Danjon scale (0=very dark, 4=very bright). My observation is about 3. Comparing this Eclipse with the last ones, this is the more bright of the last years.
From my location the clouds had a key role, because they let us worry about seeing the Totality. Luckily a tear in the clouds permitted us to observe the clue of the phenomena.

A 5 hour exposure image all the Eclipse, from 17.30 UT. The Moon was rising, so it was moving from bottom to top. The asimmetrical brightness is due to the clouds that prevent to image the ending phase. A little below the pearl necklace made by the Moon, the thin line at top  is Jupiter. Realized with a 16mm objective stopped to f/22, Kodak Gold 25 ISO film.

The momento of the Central Totality: the Moon was of an intense red colour at South, and more bright-white at North, instead of the normal deep-yellow. Visually the contrast of colours let somebody to see a azure colour. Realized with a 8" SC at f/10, 30 sec exposure, Kodak PJ-400 film, 20.20 UT.

The Gemini costellation was the theater of the Eclipse: at left there are Castor and Pollux. Some veil clouds are visible. Realized with a 50mm objective stopped to f/2,8, 30 sec exposure, Kodak PJ-400 film, 20.15 UT.

At the end of the Totality, thanks to the clouds, there was a phenomena very similar to the famous "diamond ring" of the Total Solar Eclipses. Realized with a 8" SC at f/10, 30 sec exposure, Kodak PJ-400 film, 20.55 UT.

Here follow all the images realized, at about 15 min steps (when the cluods permitted). All the images are realized with a 8" SC at f/10, Kodak Supra 400 (Partial phases) and PJ-400 (Totality). Under the images there are the times of the image (in UT, universal time), and the exposure time in seconds.



















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

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