Lunar eclipse

We were fortunate to have good weather when North America was treated to a full lunar eclipse this morning. It was expected to occur an hour or more before sunrise, as the moon set in the west. Using PhotoPills as a planning tool, I didn’t think I’d have a great view from my backyard, so I arranged to meet a colleague at a location on the Dartmouth campus – a location that has a great view to the west, with Dartmouth’s iconic Baker Tower in frame.

The moon, at upper right, during a full lunar eclipse – Baker Tower and the Dartmouth campus.

The fun thing about this framing is that I could make a time-lapse video of the moon’s progress toward the horizon while seeing the tower’s clock ticking forward from 5am to 6am. (In the video the moon occasionally disappears behind a cloud bank.)

I also used my 500mm lens for some close-up images, like the one below. I’m not thrilled with it; it’s grainy from the high ISO needed for this short exposure. My first attempts used a much longer exposure (5s, 30s) and there was too much vibration (from the building?) transmitted to the camera, causing images where the moon and stars wavered. Next time I’ll try some in-between options.

Lunar eclipse photographed 1/15s, f/7.1, ISO12800; 500mm on Canon R5

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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