Super Blue Blood Moon Animation

I ended up driving about 20 minutes further than I'd hoped to set up to image the lunar eclipse. It had just started as I parked. Unfortunately I chose to setup the Questar last. When I looked expecting to see the eclipse in detail, there was a shadowy ghost visible through the eyepiece. After a few minutes of rechecking my setup I found that the lever which controls my Barlow lens had been nudged. It was definitely not the ghost of some rebel soldier from the nearby Senterfitt Cemetery!

Single images were used for all frames. Shot with a Questar 1350/89mm telescope and a Sony a6300 camera at prime focus on 2018-01-31. Exposures range from ISO 100 for 1/50 sec to ISO 400 for 5 seconds. Observing conditions were much less than ideal. I was shooting through thin clouds so not so much quality is lost in this GIF animation. It was also a good time to learn some lessons:

  • always leave extra time for setup, weird stuff happens
  • it is confusing to try to operate multiple cameras with similar but not identical controls in the dark, especially when you haven't used one recently
  • two stops is too much gap to produce a good HDR composite of a lunar eclipse

Content created: 2018-01-31

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