Photos of the Partial Lunar Eclipse, December 21st 2010

On December 21st 2010, we had a Partial Lunar Eclipse – where the Sun, Earth and Moon form a line in the sky and part of the Earth’s shadow is cast upon the Full Moon.

I headed out to Avoca to capture the event, and we were fortunate to have great weather – a lovely sunny day and clear night, however the Partial Lunar Eclipse was mostly over by the time the Moon rose. This image below captures some of the first images of the Partially Eclipsed Moon as it rose.

The Rising Eclipse (2 images combined)

The Rising Eclipse (2 images combined)

It’s a combination of 2 images taken a few minutes apart with a Canon 40D and 24-105mm lens.

I had two setups to capture the partial lunar eclipse – my fixed tripod for my Canon 40D + 24-105mm lens, and I also took my EQ6, ED80 and second Canon 40D to try and capture some longer focal length images as the Moon rose – I was expecting to need a much longer exposure so thought I’d need tracking.

I set up my EQ6 on the sand which drew in quite a few spectators who wanted to ask about my setup or have a look through the telescope. It was a bit disappointing for them to find I had a camera attached to the scope instead of an eyepiece, but a few people looked through the viewfinder 🙂

Scope and the Belt of Venus, waiting for the Moon to rise

Scope and the Belt of Venus, waiting for the Moon to rise

I was *really* out of practise with all types of photography, and I was never really happy with the shots I was capturing – which is why it probably took so long for me to finish processing and posting these photos. The red colour in the image below isn’t from the Earth’s shadow – that’s from the atmosphere low down on the horizon.

The Partially Eclipsed Moon Rising

The Partially Eclipsed Moon Rising

A few more images from the Canon 40D + 24-105mm lens on the tripod.

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

Rising Partially Eclipsed Moon

And finally some of the last shots through the ED80. The first one is a shorter exposure to capture detail on the part of the Moon not in shadow.

Partially Eclipsed Moon

Partially Eclipsed Moon

The next image is a longer exposure to capture the shadowed part of the Moon. The red colour here is due to the light changing as it passes through the Earths atmosphere before casting upon the Moon.

Revealing the Shadowed part of the Moon

Revealing the Shadowed part of the Moon

Another shorter exposure as the Moon is moving out of the Earths shadow.

Partial Eclipse almost over

Partial Eclipse almost over

In the end I had a nice night but wasn’t really happy with how the shots turned out. I definitely need more practise before the next one. The next Lunar Eclipse is a Total Lunar Eclipse on the morning of the 16th June 2011 – it will occur during Moonset in the West and should provide some unique opportunities for some photography.  Hopefully I can take some better images than what I shot during this partial lunar eclipse.

Thanks to Sarah and Matt, as well as loads of other random locals for their company on Avoca Beach that night. It was a great spectator event.

Thanks for looking.

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