A superb and rather rare astronomical event occurred a few hours ago: a lunar total eclipse while the Moon was at perigee. This kind of event is becoming known in the media as the “supermoon eclipse” due to the larger size of the Moon in the skies. In reality, the size difference between a perigee Moon and an apogee one is quite difficult to spot with the naked eye; it may, however, be easily acknowledged if one would take images of the Moon at both distances and compare them afterwards.
For this event I had to drive together with my wife almost 200 kilometers towards the East, near the small town of Cochirleni, Constanta county. The reason was that the clouds that were occupying almost the entire country were leaving some clear spaces in between, but only in the far East.
After a short stop on the highway, where we could observe for a few minutes the partially eclipsed Moon and the cloud front rolling in, we’ve decided to drive a little more towards the above mentioned location, where we were hoping that the strong wind and clouds will be avoided.
Arrived at the planned location, we found out (the hard way) that the clouds were going to cover the Moon very soon and that we only had about 15 minute to shoot the Moon. So that’s exactly what we did, after mounting our gear in seconds. The only distraction during this time were the sounds made by two jackals very near to our car. Luckily they were not very interested in us (they are actually quite shy) so we could concentrate on the job at hand.
Our setups were two Teleskop Service APO Refractors (a 115mm F/7.5 and a 65mm F/6.5) with two Canon EOS 550D cameras, mounted on EQ3-2 and EQ6 mounts.
Now, the results.
First, a shot made holding the 65mm APO by hand, while on the short stop on the highway. This is the only partial-phase image we’ve got.
And now, the totality:
This was a rather dark eclipse, with the Moon darker areas quite difficult to see visually.
Too bad these kind of events don’t happen more often…