A lighter shade of umbra

By Phil Plait | September 24, 2006 9:59 pm

I love creative people. They do things that surprise us, and that’s one of many things that makes like worth living…

I’ve seen probably two dozen lunar eclipses. They’re pretty, but they’re slow. It takes a while to notice the shadow of the Earth slowly creeping across the lunar face. This makes it hard for me to get really excited about them. I enjoy them, of course, but it’s also hard to sustain a high level of excitement when you keep going back inside and outside every 15 minutes to watch the eclipse’s glacial progress.

But then I saw this image, and all was forgiven:

Man, that’s brilliant. I’ll never see another lunar eclipse the same way.

And that image is one of many at Laurent Laveder’s Photoastronomique site. Like Thierry Legault (as I previously blogged), he is a true artist, and a very clever one at that. Check out the rest of his eclipse images. He has a fantastic way to visualize the Earth’s shadow on the sky. His stuff is so cool!

I love creative people.

Hat tip to good ol’ APOD, and to Laurent for giving me permission to use his wonderful picture.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Science, Time Sink

Comments (9)

Links to this Post

  1. A Ler…-- Rastos de Luz | September 25, 2006
  2. KU Students for Science » Art and Science | October 12, 2006
  3. » Pintando el eclipse | Maikelnai’s blog | December 29, 2006
  1. Navneeth

    Wow! Yet another amazing pic. Thanks for sharing it. Although not completely natural, this is my pick of the lot :)

  2. Enlightened

    And I always thought it was caused by the Earth’s shadow! Something else I need to relearn from my school days!!!

  3. Navneeth

    And I always thought it was caused by the Earth’s shadow! Something else I need to relearn from my school days!!!

    I’m guessing that BA is preparing (has already prepared?) an article debunking the Earth’s shadow falling on the moon and the rest of that nonsense. 😀

  4. Alan McRae

    Does everybody realize that this photo has been modified? The moon cannot be in front of the clouds across the lower part of the screen. This makes the photo rather phony, I’m afraid, and not just a clever trick of photography.

  5. Hi Alan,
    this photo hasn’t been modified, except contrast, luminosity, color balance and noise reduction. It is not a phony: the Moon seems to be in front of the clouds because it is so luminous that it masks the clouds light.
    If I have done a phony, I would have made a better photo of the Moon (well exposed) and pasted it in the photo.
    Have a look to my website http://pixheaven.net and you’ll see I’m not a cheater!

  6. Alan McRae

    Hi Laurent,
    Thanks for explaining your photo. I can see that you did a lot of preparation to take it – upon looking at your website. Can you tell me why the upper and lower clouds across the Moon look so different. They seem to be equally thick, yet only the lower one isn’t visible…



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