Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Super Blue Lunar Eclipse

Living here in the USA, things have been a bit surreal over the past year.  As the Great Orange One (GOO) that occupies the office reserved for President has done his best to divide our citizenry and alienate us from the rest of the conscious world, it is sometimes difficult to remain optimistic about our future.  Fortunately, there are events that remind us of our place in the universe; and despite the deep divisions that are being cultivated by the GOO, there are greater forces at work that serve to unite us here on Earth.  There is something about seeing the solar system in motion in a way that we do not witness frequently, that seems to recharge my desire to make the world a better place.

Early this morning we were treated to a widely publicized total Lunar Eclipse.  This eclipse occurred on the second full moon within a calendar month (a "Blue" moon), and also at the time of perigee, when the moon is at the closest point in its elliptical orbit around the Earth (the "Super" moon).  The occurrence of a "Super Blue Lunar Eclipse" is indeed rare, with the last one occurring in 1866, one hundred and fifty two years ago! I observed the eclipse from work, (The Mount Lemmon SkyCenter) where we were providing a live stream of the eclipse for NASA.

The image at left was taken with my Canon 6D and a 70-200mm lens set to 100mm, just before sunrise.  You can see the eclipsed moon hanging in the dawn sky with Picacho peak in the distance at lower right (along with I-10 traffic just in front of it).

Below is a collage of some of the images I captured during the eclipse, using my Canon 6D and my Stellarvue 90mm refractor.  Remember to click to enlarge (perhaps twice if your browser automatically resizes images to fit the window)
So you missed the eclipse and are wondering when the next lunar eclipse is here in AZ? The next eclipse in Tucson will be on January 20, 2019 starting at 7:36 PM local time.

Finally, my friend Roger who observed and photographed the eclipse with me, had a little fun with my image above...

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