In the shadow of the Earth

By Phil Plait | June 16, 2011 10:59 am

Yesterday, the Moon passed into the Earth’s shadow for the longest lunar eclipse in many years. Unfortunately for me, North America had its back turned to the event, but folks in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia had a great view. Tim Bates, in Adelaide, took this fantastic series of pictures of the Moon in and out of totality:

He took one picture every three minutes or so and combined them into this composite. It reminds me strongly of the lunar eclipse we did get to see here in the States last December. He posted a nice picture showing a series of close-ups, too.

YouTube user Jakub Barabas posted a lovely video of the eclipse as well:

Once the Moon went into full eclipse he increased the exposure time a bit so you can see the red glow on the Moon’s surface, which is difficult to photograph when exposing correctly for the still-brightly-lit surface. The red is due to sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere before getting to the Moon; it’s the same reason sunsets are sometimes red.

Did you take some good pictures or video of the eclipse? Leave a link in the comments!

Tip o’ the umbra to NASA Goddard’s Twitter stream for the video link.

Related posts:

My new favorite lunar eclipse image
Didja see the eclipse?
INSANELY awesome solar eclipse picture
ANOTHER insanely awesome shot of the solar eclipse?!
When the Earth takes a bite out of the Sun

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures

Comments (20)

  1. Kevin

    I’ve seen a lot of lunar eclipses, and photographed them as well. But nothing I have seen beats one of the images I saw online from Australia…

    I’m still in awe.

  2. And Google had a nice little animation in honour of the event as well.

    It’s not up on their archive yet, but was cool:

  3. DrFlimmer

    but folks in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia had a great view

    Hah! Not really. Western Germany was covered with clouds. No moon. :(

  4. Cindy

    Another happy coincidence for Boston sports fans. Another lunar eclipse and a Boston sports team finally wins a championship after a long drought (Red Sox in 2004 and Bruins last night).

    And before you jump on me, yes, I do know it happens to be a coincidence and that the lunar eclipse had nothing to do with the Bruins (or the Red Sox) winning.

  5. It was a very cloudy night in Helsinki, unfortunately. I managed to take a peek at the moon a couple of times through some breaks in the clouds, though.

    While I didn’t see as much as I had hoped, what I saw was quite beautiful.

  6. So … if I were standing on the moon, looking back at the Earth during a total Lunar Eclipse, I’d see a thin red ring.

    Just like when the old X-Box crashes and dies!

  7. I really wish we had something on the moon that would view earth / the sun during all of this so we could have a really cool solar eclipse view from the moon.

  8. Naomi

    Eastern Australia was covered in clouds, too :( Boo! On the plus side, both of my trips to the US got me total lunar eclipses – the second one was the winter solstice one last year, plus February 2008.

  9. Brett Walters

    The moon was a slightly orange-ish color around 9:30 pm CST (the time stamp in the Exif data is incorrect I’m afraid).
    Not a lunar eclipse I’m afraid, but still kinda neat considering the last lunar eclipse visible from this area was blocked by clouds

  10. Grant Gordon

    We had huge thunderstorms here in Grahamstown, South Africa and I’d all but lost hope of seeing the eclipse, but in what can only be described as the cosmos smiling down on me, about 10 minutes before the eclipse started, the clouds blew over and I was treated to perfectly clear skies for the duration of the eclipse. Was an incredible sight and I got a few other people interested in astronomy as we watched the eclipse and I pointed out some of the other interesting sights in the night sky.

  11. Nigel Depledge

    It was cloudy here in NE England.

  12. Renee Marie Jones

    “The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.”

    – Ferdinand Magellan

  13. Jesper

    It was a bit hard to see here in the Netherlands because it was underway as the Sun went down (and the Moon came up), there were some clouds, and there were some trees in the way, but I did manage to make a photo, when it was just coming out of the shadow:

  14. WJM

    I second Endyo!

  15. Bobby

    Alas, I didn’t have the opportunity to take a picture, but just observing it with a good pair of binoculars from a very dark place was awesome. And at the end, when the moon was about half-eclipsed, some clouds appeared. Not enough to hide it, but enough to make it… well, magical.

  16. Keith Bowden

    On another note, I have to say that lunar pareidolia escapes me. I have tried and tried all my life but I simply can not figure out what the “face on the moon” is supposed to be. I see the “seas” and patches of lighter/darker, but I simply have never been able to get the merest hint of a face to resolve.

    Doesn’t bother me, I can always watch the Lumi√®re brothers’ La Voyage dans la Lune (1902) to see a face on the moon. :)

  17. Messier Tidy Upper

    Australia had a great view. Tim Bates, in Adelaide, took this fantastic series of pictures of the Moon in and out of totality

    Yes indeed. I got up and saw it here in Adelaide, South Oz too – it was freezing cold then I can tell you! ūüėČ

    Alas, I lack the equipment for astrophotography, don’t even hae a working camera of any sort presently, but I did enjoy the spectacle. Great to see a fellow Adelaidean get a mention here – superb photos thanks Tim. :-) 8)

  18. Not the greatest shots, probably, but for what it’s worth, here are mine:

    It started out cloudy, but it became quite clear sometime after totality. I was able to capture the red moon. Now, that was an incredible sight!


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