BIRDER'S JOURNAL
February 20 , 2008

SUBJECT: Lunar Eclipse

I did hear a pair of Barred Owls in back of the house the night of eclipse, so I can officially state that this journal has something to do with birds. With that said, the real reason for this journal is to share a few photographs of the total lunar eclipse that occurred on Wednesday evening throughout most of North America.

Here in Minnesota, the skies were clear for a change. When the skies are clear, the wind is calm and there's snow on the ground, you can expect it to be cold—and cold it was! Temperatures at the start of the eclipse were around -8 (F) and by the time the eclipse was over, the temperature had dropped to -12(F).

My goal was to photograph the entire eclipse with one camera on a timer, photographing the moon every 10 minutes using a wide-angle lens and manually photograph the moon using a telephoto lens with my second camera.

As it turned out, the camera attached to telephoto lens worked the best since I was manually adjusting shutter speeds to compensate for the ever changing exposures of both the light and dark sides of the moon.

One thing is for sure, this was an extreme test for both cameras and lenses. With both cameras out in the cold for four hours, I didn't dare bring them back in the house. I gradually warmed them up by putting them in my car with the heat on low. Just for fun, I brought in the tripods to see what would happen and even with low humidity in the house, they were totally frosted within one minute! Something you would not want to do with camera equipment.

Without further ado, here are a few photographs from the eclipse.

—Alan Stankevitz

cordwood house at night
It was a cold night but the house was nice and toasty thanks to a warm fire. A great place to run to when my hands and feet became numb.

 

totally eclipsed moon

The moon turned red as the shadow of the earth passed in front of the sun. If you were to be standing on the moon during a total lunar eclipse you would see the earth as a dark disk with a ring of red surrounding our planet. The ring is the earth's atmosphere lit up by the sun in a continuous glow of sunrises and sunsets.

 

lunar eclipse composite
This is a composite of nine photographs showing the various phases of the lunar eclipse.

 

 

 

 

Web design © 2008, Alan Stankevitz
All photographs © 2002-2008, Alan Stankevitz

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