Nov 19 Lunar Eclipse

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Astrnmrtom

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May 20, 2021
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Thomas M
Phew! That was close! I thought I was going to get skunked last night when I set up my equipment. Started off clear, then the fog/clouds rolled in and completely blotted out the sky. An astronomy weather app on my phone promised clearing right around the start of the eclipse. Sure enough, clear skies when it was time! I imaged just north of Pensacola Florida.

All the photos, except one were taken with my a6000 at the prime focus of my 94mm f/7 refractor - 658mm EFL. I tried to stay at iso 100 but a few of my shots were higher. One image is using the 210mm kit zoom. Good thing I had a pocket full of extra batteries because the chilly breeze wasn't helping with battery life. I've just done a little tweeking of the images to try to bring up the red a little, so that it matched the visual appearance. It was quite a pretty sight during maximum eclipse with the red moon sporting a thin white sliver, the Pleiades to the upper right, and Orion standing upright in the south. At one point I slewed the scope over to Orion's sword and took some 30 second exposures of M42, the Great Orion Nebula at iso3200. I think my M42 image captured some of the Starlink satellites - A pox on your pet goldfish,
Elon Musk! I'm going to try to stack three images of M42 and process them so it looks better. I wasn't expecting to do any long exposures so my mount's polar alignment was a little off. I'm not sure if the curved stars in the M42 image was from mis-alignment drift, wind, or both. All in all a great night with the a6000!

Technically, this wasn't a total lunar eclipse, part of the Moon remained out of the Earth's Umbra, but at 99%, it's sure is close.

Anyone else get some shots?
Tom
2021_Nov19TotalLunarEclipseStart.jpg 2021_Nov19TotalLunarEclipse5RedStarting.jpg 2021_Nov19TotalLunarEclipse23Totality.jpg 2021_Nov19TotalLunarEclipse200mm.jpg 2021_Nov19TotalLunarEclipse2TotalityEnding.jpg M42andStarlink.jpg
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Great shots! I didn't even bother to try here in South Florida: clouds and rain all night. Also, the 18-135mm is the longest reaching lens I have, but I want much more reach before I do any more lunar photography.
 

Kevriano

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Very nice series
 

Spiderx1

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I set the alarm for 3am EST. Proceeded to load fresh batteries and head outside. Already, crap can't get the camera tilted high enough on the tripod. The camera bottom was hitting the cradle mount, adjust legs ( not a good solution), get ready---take the first of many shots.... no shutter release..... take inside to the light...why won't the shutter release....oh what is that light flashing on the front.....crap I forgot I had left it in timer mode from last long exposures in low light....duh...more coffee and Better Prep Next Time!!! BTW I did get the cradle mount to tilt to near vertical. 3am after 3 hours of sleep is no time to trouble shoot.
 

Astrnmrtom

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I set the alarm for 3am EST. Proceeded to load fresh batteries and head outside. Already, crap can't get the camera tilted high enough on the tripod. The camera bottom was hitting the cradle mount, adjust legs ( not a good solution), get ready---take the first of many shots.... no shutter release..... take inside to the light...why won't the shutter release....oh what is that light flashing on the front.....crap I forgot I had left it in timer mode from last long exposures in low light....duh...more coffee and Better Prep Next Time!!! BTW I did get the cradle mount to tilt to near vertical. 3am after 3 hours of sleep is no time to trouble shoot.

Great story and a very common one in the astro-imaging world. I have a friend who is pretty deep into astrophotography, and he has countless stories of frustration.

One of the worst events to capture, is a total solar eclipse where you have less than four minutes, start to end. When a piece of equipment malfunctions, or you screw up, you can hear the cosmic clock ticking as totality continues to march towards it conclusion. It's very easy to panic. In 2017 I was all set-up to image through my telescope and with a second camera riding on the back ready to be run hands free with an intervalometer. I'd practiced and practiced the day before, traveled to the centerline and set-up the morning of the event. That's when I discovered I'd left the piggy back camera bracket back at the cabin an hour away. When I started imaging through the scope using equipment and software I'd used flawlessly for years, my imaging software locked up for the first time ever. Re-booting the laptop seemed to take forever. Tick tock, tick tock . . . . Don't panic, and walk through the troubleshooting steps is what I kept telling myself as the panic grew. I adapted, and just hand held the camera while bracing myself against the car. I'd abandoned the scope and laptop to keep it simple.

To completely top my idiot cake with a thick layer moron frosting, somewhere along the line, in either the taxi to a hotel, or in the hotel itself, I left the camera behind. I didn't discover it until I arrived home 300 miles away. The only saving grace was I'd downloaded half a dozen images to my laptop to process, all others stayed in the camera which was now in the hands of some lucky stranger. Can't screw up much worse than that.

The day after this lunar eclipse I did something similar with the self timer. I was taking a shot of a bird when I pushed the shutter button and nothing happened. As I'm looking over the camera I hear the shuttle click. The night before I'd turned off camera sounds and was using the 2 second delay. The camera was doing exactly what I had set it to do, for the eclipse. Operator error. Can't fix stupid. :)

Here's a photo of my set-up. A good astro-imager shooting in breezy weather would have removed the neck strap. :rolleyes: The night before another RV was in the gravel space right next to me which is why I turned off camera sound. Strange beeping at 3am usually isn't well received. :mad:

Oh, hey, just for post eclipse giggles, as I was packing the scope up the next morning I placed one foot off into the grass at the end of the picnic table and right on top of a fire ant nest. Yeah, and I was wearing sandals. Fun Fun Fun. I'm sure my neighbor got quite a laugh as I did the one foot fire ant dance as I tried to remove my sandal, and brush the little stinkers off my other foot. Hummm, why didn't I take up stamp collecting instead of astronomy and photography. Oh, that's right, the danger of paper cuts.

Tom

IMG_20211119_130127252.jpg
 
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Jeff A

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Great story and a very common one in the astro-imaging world. I have a friend who is pretty deep into astrophotography, and he has countless stories of frustration.

One of the worst events to capture, is a total solar eclipse where you have less than four minutes, start to end. When a piece of equipment malfunctions, or you screw up, you can hear the cosmic clock ticking as totality continues to march towards it conclusion. It's very easy to panic. In 2017 I was all set-up to image through my telescope and with a second camera riding on the back ready to be run hands free with an intervalometer. I'd practiced and practiced the day before, traveled to the centerline and set-up the morning of the event. That's when I discovered I'd left the piggy back camera bracket back at the cabin an hour away. When I started imaging through the scope using equipment and software I'd used flawlessly for years, my imaging software locked up for the first time ever. Re-booting the laptop seemed to take forever. Tick tock, tick tock . . . . Don't panic, and walk through the troubleshooting steps is what I kept telling myself as the panic grew. I adapted, and just hand held the camera while bracing myself against the car. I'd abandoned the scope and laptop to keep it simple.

To completely top my idiot cake with a thick layer moron frosting, somewhere along the line, in either the taxi to a hotel, or in the hotel itself, I left the camera behind. I didn't discover it until I arrived home 300 miles away. The only saving grace was I'd downloaded half a dozen images to my laptop to process, all others stayed in the camera which was now in the hands of some lucky stranger. Can't screw up much worse than that.

The day after this lunar eclipse I did something similar with the self timer. I was taking a shot of a bird when I pushed the shutter button and nothing happened. As I'm looking over the camera I hear the shuttle click. The night before I'd turned off camera sounds and was using the 2 second delay. The camera was doing exactly what I had set it to do, for the eclipse. Operator error. Can't fix stupid. :)

Here's a photo of my set-up. A good astro-imager shooting in breezy weather would have removed the neck strap. :rolleyes: The night before another RV was in the gravel space right next to me which is why I turned off camera sound. Strange beeping at 3am usually isn't well received. :mad:

Oh, hey, just for post eclipse giggles, as I was packing the scope up the next morning I placed one foot off into the grass at the end of the picnic table and right on top of a fire ant nest. Yeah, and I was wearing sandals. Fun Fun Fun. I'm sure my neighbor got quite a laugh as I did the one foot fire ant dance as I tried to remove my sandal, and brush the little stinkers off my other foot. Hummm, why didn't I take up stamp collecting instead of astronomy and photography. Oh, that's right, the danger of paper cuts.

Tom

View attachment 14631
I read your story of woe and I'm sorry for you. On a positive note, I'm a newbie and have made numerous "Screw ups" and most of the time I think I'm the only one who makes mistakes so thanks for sharing.
 

Boojum

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It is, in a way, like fishing. They call it fishing, not catching. Also, the exercise is a rare one so there is little opportunity to practice. All in all, getting photos is great. Getting really good photos is even better and when it is a series and all filled in, take a bow. You guys did great.

As for myself, would you believe that it was raining and overcast here? Yeah, amazing. So your pics are wonderful.
 

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