Zenfolio | Keith H. Hemmelman | Total Lunar Eclipse
Visitors 24
Modified 21-Dec-10
Created 21-Dec-10
10 photos

On December 21, 2010 there was a total lunar eclipse visible from the North American continent. The previous total lunar eclipse occured in February 2008, which I missed due to completely over cast skies on that night. What made this eclipse in 2010 special was the fact that it occured on the 'Winter Solstice', or the shortest day of the year. The last time this had occured was 372 years ago in the year 1638! The next time a total lunar eclipse will occur on the Winter Solstice will be on December 21, 2094, so I doubt I will be around to witness that one!

I apologize for the relatively poor quality of these photos, but my photographic equipment wasn't purchased with this type of shooting in mind. This, along with the shooting conditions of 13 degree F temperatures with 15-20 mph winds causing -10 degree F wind chills, I found shooting the eclipse somewhat challenging to say the least, not to mention the extreme variation in lighting during the eclipse is difficult to deal with on its' own.

This eclipse occured very early in the morning where I live, beginning around 12:15AM and the lasting to around 4:20AM. Due to the bitter cold temperatures causing my camera batteries to drain at an "extremely" accelerated rate, I had to manage my shots by periodically moving my equipment indoors, but eventually my camera locked up and quit responding. I was only able to manage to shoot photos up until around 1:45AM, which included the "Umbra" stage changing into the "Total" eclipse state causing the orangish color on the moon. This was probably a good time for me to quit shooting though considering I had not gone to bed and needed to get at least a few hours of sleep before going to work! Had I shot photos throughout the entire event, you would basically see the orange color disappear and Earths shadow migrate across the other side of the moon.

This is the first total lunar eclipse I can remember witnessing in a long time, so I made sure that I raised my eyes up from the camera viewfinder to just look up and enjoy this wonderful event.

You will notice the moon is not in the same placement within each frame. This is due to me having to constantly re-adjust my camera on my tripod as the moon was moving across the night sky. You will also notice the size of the moon is not the same in each photos. This is due to the extreme fall off of light during the eclipse and me needing to change to a shorter zoom lens that could let a little more light into my camera.

I hope you enjoy these few photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. (Well, I enjoyed taking them a lot except for the part of nearly getting frost bite!)