Celestial Event : Blood Moon – April 15, 2014

Blood Moon is sometimes used to describe a Total Lunar Eclipse. When the Earth casts its shadow on a Full Moon and eclipses it, the Moon may get a red glow.

Lunar Tetrad

Total lunar eclipses are rare – only about one in three lunar eclipses are total. About four to five total eclipses can be seen at any place on Earth in a decade.

Lunar eclipses usually do not occur in any specific order. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. The total lunar eclipses happen 6 months apart. There are at least six full Moons between two total lunar eclipses in a tetrad.

(Excerpt from http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/blood-moon.html)

Hmm, so a rare celestial event, that most of us probably have never seen in our lifetimes; happening at a time where I have full opportunity to witness such an event but also capture it.

This eclipse is the first in the series of the lunar tetrad, which occurred on April 15th, 2014 and started at 00:53 and ended at 6:37, although by that time it was already below the horizon so for those of us in Barbados it really “ended” around 5:33 (according to http://www.timeanddate.com). It indeed was roughly around that time when I started and finished shooting; sitting down on a concrete block for hours with a cup of coffee on the ground just shooting away and adjusting my camera in manual mode and the tripod every hour or so. After hours of post processing (this time last year when I did the actual processing I was working on an old Dell Studio laptop circa 2009) and it was about to croak from the loading and compositing of those files. After more than 3 painful hours of merging, processing and compositing I believe I had my masterpiece.

Any of you recognize the pattern/geometry used in this composite? 🙂

IMG_0377 entire eclipse

And here’s an extra that I found with one of the planets being highly visible that morning to the far right shown below. This was a 6 sec exposure with taken at ISO 1600, f/5.6 at 70mm.

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