Moon

Total lunar eclipse photos – 28 September 2015

IMG_3689_DxO_eclipse_start of totality_28092015The beginning of totality during the total lunar eclipse – 28 September 2015. Credit: Will Gater

On Monday morning the skies were clear over Somerset and we were treated to a beautiful total lunar eclipse. Totality was notably dark producing a much more dramatic drop in sky brightness than the one I remember from the 2007 total lunar eclipse. The purple/turquoise fringe of the umbral shadow (caused by stratospheric ozone absorption) seemed less pronounced however. Below are a few of my pics from the event. You’ll also find them over on my new astro image site willgaterastrophotography.com.

Harvest_Supermoon_pre__eclipse moon rise_27092015The full Moon rising on the night of the 27 September 2015. Credit: Will GaterIMG_3642_DxO_perigee full Moon_27_28092015The perigee full Moon before the eclipse had begun. Credit: Will Gater

IMG_3653_DxO_lunar eclipse_partial_phase_28092015
The umbral shadow of the Earth progressing across the disc of the Moon. Credit: Will Gater

Lunar eclipse full montage September 2015Composite montage of the entire lunar eclipse from beginning (right) to end (left). Credit: Will Gater

IMG_3731_DxO_lunareclipse_28092015_ozone_edgeThe delicate purple edge of the umbral shadow shortly after totality had ended. Credit: Will Gater

IMG_9054_DxO_eclipse widefield stars of pisces_28092015Stars down to around 13th magnitude showing up behind the totally eclipsed Moon. Credit: Will Gater

IMG_3713_DxO_eclipse wide field_28092015A wide-field view of the totally eclipsed Moon. Credit: Will Gater

Umbral shadow montage eclipse 28092015Montage showing the rough outline of the umbral shadow. Credit: Will Gater

IMG_3706_DxO_eclipse_28092015_0248utThe moment of greatest eclipse. Credit: Will Gater

IMG_3693_DxO_eclipse_28092015The totally eclipsed Moon above thin cloud and a hedgerow. Credit: Will Gater

Two glittering planets meet the Earthshine lit Moon

Venus, Jupiter & the crescent Moon. (Click for full-size version) Credit: Will Gater

Jupiter, Venus and the crescent Moon are putting on a wonderful show in the west after sunset at the moment. The picture above shows the view last night with Jupiter and the Moon separated by roughly 3 degrees. A close-up of the view (below) shows the Moon and Jupiter as well as two of the Galilean satellites – Ganymede and Callisto. Tonight the view is no less spectacular with the brilliant Venus and the crescent Moon a little over 2 degrees apart. Pop out and see them if you can.

While you’re out, look out for the effect known as ‘Earthshine’. This is where sunlight reflected off the Earth’s bright cloud tops lights up the part of the Moon that isn’t directly lit by the Sun; it’s best seen when the Moon is a thin crescent, like it is at the moment. You can see Earthshine clearly illuminating the face of the Moon in the image below.

Jupiter, the crescent Moon & Earthshine. (Click for full-size version) Credit: Will Gater

A chilly crescent

Despite the bitterly cold wind, tonight’s crescent Moon was a sight that I couldn’t resist photographing. The first and third shots show an interesting phenomenon known as ‘Earthshine’ where the shadowed part of the Moon is partially illuminated by light reflected off the Earth. If you look closely at the first image you’ll be able to make out some of the more prominent lunar ‘seas’. Jupiter was not far from the Moon tonight too, as can be seen in the last two shots. Click on the images to see larger versions and remember to look out for the faint glow of Earthshine the next time you see a thin crescent Moon.

The Moon with Earthshine. Credit: Will Gater
The Moon and Jupiter at twilight. Credit: Will Gater
The Moon and Jupiter at twilight. Credit: Will Gater