In my ongoing aim to photograph astronomical phenomena, I recently went to the USA to capture the 2017 solar eclipse. As with the super blood moon, it’s been described as a “once in a lifetime” event, however I saw the 1999 eclipse (in Romania) and I might go to the 2024 one too (also in the USA), so it’s probably just a “three times in a lifetime” event (which is probably more common than a lot of things).
The first few shots were slightly out of focus but do show the moon gradually moving across the sun (or does the sun move behind the moon?).
The main issue was with the sun moving across the camera field of view and disappearing off the edge. The answer was to redirect the camera but sometimes it took time to re-find the sun (the viewfinder couldn’t be used because the filter wasn’t suitable for human use, and the electronic display doesn’t work when connected to the computer). Therefore I missed a few of the shots, but I still got enough to produce this awesome timelapse:
[ADDITION: This is over about a 3 hour period and each ‘sun’ is about 3-5 minutes apart]
And here’s a simpler linear version:
I also captured several images of the corona (after taking the filter off):
Following some post-processing in Photoshop, I produced a more detailed shot of the corona:
And here’s a shot of the sun without the moon blocking it:
It was described as a once in a generation event since the next one isn’t until 2033. I have no idea what this actually means since that’s only 18 years time and I intend to still be around then.
Anyway, I set my alarm for 3am in order to see the red moon at its peak (3:47am). I had intended to climb a nearby hill, however I decided I was much more comfortable at home, plus the moon was visible straight out of my bedroom window so I decided to just stay in.
It was quite strange to see a red moon, but I was expecting it to be a bit bigger. I’m sure it was bigger than normal, but I’m sure I’ve seen it larger before.
It took a while to work out the settings for my camera and I ended up taking 10 completely black images before I discovered that increasing the ISO allowed the moon to be recorded (even though I could see it in the viewfinder). The internet suggests that a focal length of 1000mm is best for moon photos, but my maximum lens only goes up to 250mm so the moon is still quite small in my photos. The alternative is to have a reference object to show the size (e.g. a landmark) but there aren’t many of them outside my bedroom window. I’m sure the settings I used weren’t ideal, and it probably would have been better if I was outdoors, but here are some of the photos I took:
[Note: for some reason one of the photos doesn’t appear to be loading. If it’s still not loading by tomorrow, I’ll have another look]