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Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

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Super “Bloodmoon” Total Lunar Eclipse

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

My photo of the Supermoon Eclipse on September 27th, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

I am very excited about the total eclipse of the “supermoon” on the night of September 27-28, 2015, and you should be too! This full moon happens to be the closest one to Earth of the year, ( Approximately 220,000 miles away instead of its average 240,000 miles) making it a “supermoon”. During this total lunar eclipse, the moon will appear about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter! Up here in Canada, this is considered to be the Harvest Moon, or full moon nearest to the September equinox. This September full moon is also called a Blood Moon, because it’s the fourth and final eclipse of a lunar tetrad.

Update:

The total lunar eclipse, or “Supermoon Eclipse” as it was called by many, was an amazing show for sky-watchers in Eastern Canada.  The event was well photographed by amateur astronomers and photographers from their backyards across the country.  I took several photos of the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse and have displayed them on this page!

 

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

A closer look at the Super “Bloodmoon” Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Tetrad

This is what really makes this total lunar eclipse an extra special event. Keep in mind that total lunar eclipses are rare, only about 1 out of every 3 lunar eclipses are total eclipses. Only about 4-5 total eclipses can be seen at any place on Earth in a decade. Eventually, 4 total lunar eclipses will happen in a row –  6 months apart from each other – this is referred to as lunar tetrad.

Lunar Tetrad

Image courtesy of www.timeanddate.com

Watching a total lunar eclipse is an unbelievable experience for any astronomy nerd like myself. The fact that you are watching our planet’s shadow block the light from the sun to our nearest neighbour in the sky is an incredible thought. The once normally bright white moon will turn an orange red, an almost frightening phenomenon. The total lunar eclipse is visible from the most of North America and all of South America after sunset September 27th. The last Supermoon eclipse was back in 1982 – before I was born! The next one won’t happen until 2033.  

Where and When the Lunar Eclipse will take place

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse - Where and When

Image courtesy of Sky and Telescope

Tips for Photographing the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

First off, you will get much better shots of the moon that will actually show detail if you shoot through a telescope or long telephoto lens. A shot through a standard camera lens or smartphone will produce an image of the Moon that’s too small to record the detail you can see with your unaided eye. A minimum focal length of 300mm is recommended for a decent shot. If you are using a point and shoot camera, zoom out as far as possible, and keep the camera steady. A tripod (or better yet a tracking mount) is a must for a steady shot.

Canon 70D with a live-view flip-out screen for Moon photography

Canon 70D for Moon Photography

I will be using a Canon 70D through a telescope using an adapter. The live-view and flip-out screen make adjusting the exposures on-the-fly a breeze.

Experiment with different exposures and ISO settings in manual mode, using live-view to make sure you have not under/overexposed the image. The shortest exposures will only be useful during the partial stages of the lunar eclipse, as the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse is beginning and ending. When the moon enters totality, you will need to bump up your ISO, and/or your exposure length to reveal the disk of the Moon. This will put your tripod and steady hands to the test. Make sure to use a timer or external shutter release to avoid any movement!

Total Lunar Eclipse - Moon Photography

The Lunar Eclipse on October 8th, 2014

I hope you enjoy this rare sky event with your friends and family on Sunday. I will be watching the event with my Astronomy Club in Niagara Falls, Ontario. My fingers are crossed that the weather cooperates! Good luck, and I hope you get some good photos!
 
 
 

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