Total Lunar Eclipse Sequence – December 2011

The Total Lunar Eclipse of December 2011 was a special one for me – it’s the first one where everything went right. After days of rain, the skies cleared on the night of the eclipse. My equipment worked flawlessly and the seeing was rock steady, giving me my sharpest images of a Total Lunar Eclipse.

I was even uploading a live stream of images to the SLOOH Events page, as well as the IceInSpace Facebook page, my personal Facebook profile and my Google+ profile for viewing by a worldwide audience and everything just worked. The only downside was losing the Moon behind a tree just after totality started – but I knew it was coming so I was thankful that I was able to image Totality before losing it for the night.

This image is a composite of all of my images from the night. Below the image you read about each section of the image.

Total Lunar Eclipse, December 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse, December 2011

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This composite image shows:

  1. Top Section – The progression of the eclipse as the Moon dove further into Earth’s shadow
  2. Left – A pre-eclipse Full Moon image, taken 1 hour before the partial phase started
  3. Middle – A mid-partial phase HDR image, showing the darkened red side with the still lit bright side together.
  4. Right – A Totality image, taken at 1:11am shortly after totality began.

All images were taken with my Canon 40D through an 80mm telescope. Some details about each section..

Partial Phase Sequence

Exposures changed throughout the partial phases, from 1/20 to 1/250s. ISO was set at 400.

Pre-Eclipse Full Moon

100 images @ 1/250s exposure, stacked and processed in Registax, post-processing in Photoshop. More details here.

Partial Phase HDR

7 images ranging from 1 second to 1/50 second @ ISO400. HDR created in Photomatix Pro with processing in Photoshop.


A single 2 second image @ ISO1600, processed in Photoshop. More details here.

Thanks for looking, comments are always welcome!

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