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Lunar Eclipse 2001

Story location: Home / astronomy /

I had spent most of my time photographing the previous eclipses, so this time I decided to video this one. I had two camcorders set up, one with the zoom at the wide angled end, to record the path of the moon as it passed into the Earth's shadow. The other camera was fitted with a telephoto adapter, and I recorded a few second of film every few minutes. The output from these cameras was turned into two time lapse films:

  • close-up.mpg (308Kb) - a short (19s) clip of the shadow falling across the face of the moon.
  • out_of_eclipse.mpg (254Kb) - the wide-angled view, showing the moon coming out of the Earth's shadow.

The eclipse itself was an orange/brown colour, rather than the bright red colour of previous eclipses. Unfortunately, the video cameras weren't sensitive enough to show the colours clearly.

Both films were shot using normal VHS camcorders. The close-up view was captured using a camera fitted with a telephoto adapter, mounted on a normal photographic tripod. The tripod was regularly adjusted to keep the moon in the centre of the frame (next time, I will mount the camera on my telescope and use the motor drive, but the scope was unavailable at the time). The cameras exposure was altered to account for the changing brightness of the moon, otherwise the automatic exposure would overexpose the bright areas.