Partial Lunar Eclipse Animation

I love events in the sky with multiple moving parts. There are many ways to creatively capture the story of events that evolve in time and space. I've added a couple of new views of the partial lunar eclipse from my 1200 stackable images. Images were made with a Questar 1280/89 mm Maksutov telescope and Sony a6300 camera. Noise reduction stacking was in AutoStakkert!, HDR stacking and animation in Photoshop. All running on an Apple M1 Pro.


This animation of individual frames spaced 5 minutes apart captures the complicated interaction of the moon's shape and path with the circular shadow of the earth.

Stacked image of maximum eclipse

Atmospheric seeing variations move in waves across the face of the lunar disk, makeing stacking images to reduce noise difficult. I usually a minimum of 2 to 4 dozen images to get a reliable result. The dim red moon during totality really benefits from stacking long exposure images. I shot 11 ISO 200 6 sec exposures of maximum eclipse (97% total). Here is the AutoStakkert! processed stack of the best 8:

Compare the linked full size image above to that of the single frame in the next section.

Single image of maximum eclipse

With so many images and exposures to choose from it's easy to find individual frames well exposed for any time of the eclipse. I used one of these for my "night of" post:

HDR stacked image

My Sony cameras make it easy to shoot multiple exposure bursts of images. I shot 9 exposure bursts each 1 stop apart for must of the eclipse to cover the range of illumination of direct sunlight to deep red umbral shadow. This image from an earlier post, shows the moon an hour past maximum eclipse with HDR stacking done in Photoshop:

Content created: 2021-11-22




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Moon Phase