Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama  

April 2014
Total Lunar Eclipse


April's total lunar eclipse was nicely placed for southern California amateur astronomers, but the weather turned out to be less than perfect at my observatory (see wide view video below on this page). Thin clouds periodically blew through during the course of the 3-1/2 hour eclipse, complicating exposures for time-lapse sequences. But I can't really complain. I was able to see a nice dark eclipse of the moon and capture several different views of the eclipse sequence including these views of the totality phase:

2014 Total Lunar Eclipse, wide view

Wide view - The eclipsed moon is visible with nearby bright star Spica to its right, and Mars to the far upper-right. Click on the image for a larger view.

2014 Total Lunar Eclipse, medium view

Closer view with Spica again visible to the right of the moon. Click on the image for a larger view.

2014 Total Lunar Eclipse, closeup view

Closeup view of the eclipsed moon with numerous faint stars visible. Click on the image for a larger view.

Above is a time-lapse sequence of the totality phase with the star field kept stationary so that the motion of the moon is visible. Variations in the shots are due to the light clouds passing by. View the video at 1080p resolution if possible to be able to see the star field and maximum detail on the moon. The full sequence, including partial phases can be seen here:

Full eclipse time-lapse

This is the wide field view of the eclipse, starting just after the umbral phase has started. Note the change in color of the moon as it becomes totally immersed in the Earth's shadow as well the huge change in brightness level as the moon exits the shadow. The cloud interference is apparent in this view of the eclipse.