Friday, 22 January 2010

Eclipse to see out the decade

I tested out my new christmas present - a tripod with an old 400mm lens on my EOS. On new year's eve, I hopped outside my door and waited for the clouds to part, which they obligingly did to reveal a moon in mid partial eclipse. I spent quite some time squatting, craning my neck and shivering in the freezing cold. This picture was taken at 19:16 UT on 31/12/2009. I found the optimal ISO setting to be 400, because I closed the aperture to about f/18 for better focus and I stacked 4 short exposures. I enhanced the contrast to push the brightest spots to full brightness, and the moon starts to get lost in the umbra, so it appears fully black. This eclipse shows the range of brightnesses across the penumbra and shows the fuzziness of the shadow of the earth, caused by the half-degree angular size of the sun.

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