Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Blood Moon and Uranus - October 2014

High cloud speeding across the sky made looking at the blood moon a wonderful experience but impossible to do justice to :)  Heavy cloud cleared just as the moon started to come out of the eclipse.

At the point of eclipse, the Moon had a unique footprint of stars around it.  I used my star charts to put together a snap shot of those stars, and found Uranus was sitting there.

Tonight I ran into two unexpected problems.  
a. when the moon goes into full eclipse, it gets very dark.  At f6 it became almost impossible to focus.  I was sort of aware this would happen - and counted on being able to focus on the moon before it went dark.  Didnt get that chance - the moon was behind clouds until the last moment.  I dont normally use the Sigma @500 for star pics - too dark - but it works well for the moon (and better with a doubler).  Next chance I get I will mark astro-focus (sharp moon features/stars) on the lens for focussing.
b. The moon (even in eclipse) creates a glow around its edges and into the surrounding star field.  I am interested in getting the milky way + eclipsed moon in the same frame (this time they were in the opposite quadrants).  Merging shots optimized for moon features with one optimized for stellar detail will be a challenge because of the glow issue.  I dont know what the solution is for that.  Maybe some form of graduated fade.

Peter Quinton
October 2014

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