Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lunar Eclipse from Mauna Kea

Skies over Frankfurt had been covered with thick rainclouds two weeks ago, and so I had missed the Lunar Eclipse of February 20/21. But never mind - here is a photo of that event, the most awesome photo of a Lunar Eclipse I have ever seen:

Astronomy Picture of the Day, 2008 March 1; Credits & Copyright: Alex Mukensnable.

The photo was taken from top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, in the evening of February 20, local time. The total eclipse of the Moon was already over. The Sun was just setting in the West, casting the shadow of the volvano on the haze of the Eastern horizon. And there, the Moon was rising, just leaving the shadow of the Earth. Indeed, the shadow of the Earth is a disk, "fixed" below the shadow of the tip of Mauna Kea, which at this very moment actually is just a small bump at the border of this disk. And can see the outline of this shadow, because it still covers large parts of the the Moon, some 400,000 kilometres away.

The photo is part of a most amazing video Alex Mukensnable has made of this special Moonrise on February 20 - check it out!

Thanks to The Ridger from thegreenbelt for the link!


  1. Wow, what a gorgeous photo.

    I was in Hawai`i that week, and someone told me about the eclipse, but we couldn't see it from where we were. Dramatic demonstration of the visibility.

    I made it up Mauna Kea two days later though. :)

  2. Hi Stefan,

    Great photo and more so video. One can see why Hawaii attracts all those international telescopes; with I’m told more to come. It is also interesting to note that time, as in epoch, has effect on eclipse. What I mean is whether one can see one or not. As we know the moon is moving further away from the earth as time progresses, with it predicted to be out of influence (orbital) all together at some distant point. This will affect both lunar and solar eclipses as time progresses. So we are also privileged as to our time of existence as well as place in relation to such events.



  3. This, this eclipse pic is beautiful. Usually, we try to remove the sky as a visible intermediary in astro pics, but sometimes the condition of the sky makes for artistic composition.
    I took a pic with my cell-phone camera last year for that other lunar eclipse (held it above an eyepiece of 60mm refractor at about 23X) and it looked pretty good considering. Maybe I can get it up here somehow?


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