Wonder of wonders, the sky cleared up during the eclipse. There were clouds coming and going all evening, but nothing that diminished the enjoyment of the event. Here is a shot of the fully eclipsed moon north of Orion, with Taurus and the Pleiades in the shot (and some tree branches in the foreground). A cloud, illuminated by Fort Collins city lights, drifts in front of Orion. This was taken with at 18mm focal length on a Canon EOS 40D (1.6x crop factor):
Switching lenses, here is a shot at 100mm focal length on the same camera:
But the real exciting shots were taken through the telescope a Meade LX90-ACF 8", with 2000mm focal length at f/10 - with my Canon 5D Mk II. Here is a shot at totality showing how nicely the moon fills the field on this setup:
I diligently took pictures through the telescope every 15 minutes or so, and assembled the results into a collage. Some of the technical details include:
- Since the Meade is on an alt-azimuth mount, pictures suffer from field rotation. So, at the end of the 3 or so hours, the moon had rotated by just over 90 degrees in the camera.
- This means each image had to be rotated by a small amount more than the previous one to be oriented in the proper direction. I used the EXIF data from the camera to find the exact time of each shot, so I could calculate the rotation.
- The collage was assembled in Adobe Illustrator, which allowed good control of orientation and position
- Each shot is taken with a somewhat different ISO rating (between 100 and 6400) and shutter speed (between 1/50 second and 2 or so seconds) but I kept brightness adjustments to a minimum in the collage
- The moon was obscured by haze during the partial phases - both entering and exiting - but the telescope cuts through that pretty nicely. The sky was pretty clear during totality
And now, time for some more coffee...