Tag Archives: moon

Moonshots

Crescent Moon.

Saturday night’s crescent moon. One shot for the daylit crescent, the other for the night side lit by earthshine (with some clouds as a bonus). J. helped with focusing the telephoto lens.

The second shot is a lot noisier than I’d like since I was adjusting levels on the JPEG, but I have the raw file, so maybe I’ll be able to do something better with it. It’ll be a good exercise in learning how to use Darktable.

Overexposed crescent moon, with the  night side faintly visible and a glowing cloud below it.

Waxing and Waning Moon

Tonight’s waxing crescent moon, taken with the really long telephoto lens. It’s passing in front of the Hyades star cluster right now, which I’d love to get a photo of, but the moon is just waaay too bright to capture the background stars! Plus I’m still getting used to the controls on this camera.

And here’s another moon shot I took in January, about a week after the lunar eclipse. I used a different camera, while it was in a different phase, on the opposite side of the sky…

Same moon, though! 🙂

Lunar Eclipse, January 2019

Full moon, mostly red except for a whiter edge at the upper left.

The evening was hectic, and I almost forgot. I had literally just put my son to bed when I remembered, “The eclipse!” We went out to see if the sky was clear.

Clouds were rushing across the sky, but for the most part, it was clear, and we had a perfect view of the moon looking like a dark brown chunk of rock in the sky.

(Then I spent 10 minutes fighting with camera settings while he went back to bed.)

Update: I went back out about an hour later to check out the view as the moon left the earth’s shadow, and caught these two photos, taken about the same time with different exposures so that you can see either the lit portion of the moon, or the part that’s still in the earth’s shadow.

Pumpkin Pie Moon

Orange moon in a night sky above a darkened horizon with city lights.

I suggest that a deep orange moon right before Christmas be called a Pumpkin Pie Moon.

I was coming home shortly after sunset, got to the top of a hill and saw this deep orange moon, flattened near the horizon. By the time I found a place to stop, it had risen high enough that it was mostly round.

Composite of a background shot (the moon was waay too bright!) and a zoom photo of the moon. I apparently moved a little bit, so the wire passing in front of it doesn’t line up exactly.

Super Blue Blood Moon Blur

I woke up way too early to see if the Super Blue Blood Moon* eclipse would be visible or blocked by clouds. (You never know, and I didn’t want to wake up the kiddo in the middle of a school night if there wasn’t anything to see.) I had a clear view, but the street lights were too bright to see the red color. It just looked dull brown.

So I took a couple of pictures, then went back in to wake up the kid. He still wanted to go out and see, but only for one look. Totally understandable. I carried him out, we looked at the darkened moon, then I carried him back in and put him back to bed.

It’s the third lunar eclipse he’s seen, though one of them we didn’t get to see much of since it was so cloudy. And while it’s not as cool as a total solar eclipse, it’s something you can see with no special equipment by walking out into your front yard anywhere in the world that has a view of the moon during the several hours it takes the Earth’s shadow to move across it.

I went back out one last time to try for some photos of totality, but they didn’t come out any better than the ones I took the first time. I looked around for a spot that might be darker and still have a view of the moon (without trespassing in someone else’s back yard), but didn’t see one — there are way too many lights at night these days. Then I tried to place the constellations I could see, and failed. Then I went back in to go back to bed.

Unfortunately I don’t think I really got back to sleep, so I’ve been dragging all morning. The interruption didn’t help the kiddo either, so getting him to school was a bit of a challenge.

*Blood moon: lunar eclipse, Earth’s shadow darkening the moon & turning it red. Cool to see, widely visible.
Super moon: full moon during closest point in orbit, looks slightly bigger.
Blue moon: 2nd full moon in a calendar month, otherwise no difference.