Lunar Eclipse Reports
May 15, 2003(Kent Blackwell) (Doug Norton) (Don Surles) (Dave Groski) (Rick Barnes)
Kent Blackwell's Lunar Eclipse Photo
Unfortunately bad weather hampered the lunar eclipse on Thursday, May 15, 2003. I had high hopes the weather would be more promising, since it was mostly clear all day. Around 5:00 pm the sky began getting cloudier and cloudier.
Since our public show at the Chesapeake Planetarium is every Thursday we decided to hold an eclipse watch. The show began at 8:00 pm. At that point the sky was 100% cloudy. By the end of the show at 9:00 pm the rain began. After the public left several of us watched the DVD of the IMAX film, "Blue Planet". Soon after the film ended I stepped outside. Though it was still raining it was partially clear around the moon, and we could see a pronounced darkening on the eastern limb. Each of us rushed to get our telescopes and binoculars set up, though I had to do so with an umbrella over my head! I managed to get one picture before it clouded again. Second contact (totality) occurred at 11:07 pm, but by then thick clouds covered the eclipsed moon. Shortly after midnight we decided to call it quits. But wait, by 12:15 am the clouds parted again for a brief period. Though third contact (end of totality) had already occurred I could see the moon had a definite orange color. There simply was not enough time to set up my camera gear before clouds would once again cover the moon.
I'm sorry I didn't get to see the eclipse in its full glory, but feel lucky to have seen anything at all. Maybe next November 8 will bring a better weather forecast.
Look on the Yahoo site under photos for a somewhat blurry picture of the partially eclipsed moon and another picture of the group who gathered to watch it. I had to handhold the digital camera up to the ETX-90 eyepiece. There was no time to do any better aligning before the clouds moved in again.
Lunar Eclipse Report Exclusive:
The moon was totally eclipsed by the clouds. I got plenty of pictures. It lasted a lot longer than previously predicted. It lasted from 5pm until the total solar eclipse today!
Kent and all, I stepped outside at 10:00PM and saw the moon thru a hole in the clouds. By the time I retrieved a bino from my truck the hole zipped up and the clouds were thickening. I gave up at midnight and got some sleep. What a bummer!
The clouds Gods gave me a gift by leaving a number of holes. I was able to view most of eclipse last night with 25x100 Burgess Binoculars. This eclipse was brighter then the past few that I have observed. The upper part of moon was bright, showing a gray blue color while the rest of the Moon had a bright orange red hue. When the clouds cleared fully, the eclipsed moon in the surrounding star field was very pretty sight.
I caught the immersion of the eclipse, through breaks in clouds from 22:14 - 22:22 local time. Pictures to follow at the next meeting!