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Old 01-02-2018, 01:44 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Lunar Eclipse visual observations

We had clear skies here in southern Tasmania for the eclipse despite the best efforts of some rolling banks of very heavy cloud during the day to stick around. They cleared later than forecast but just in time!
I set up all my equipment early under the exceptionally bright Moon and then retreated at about 10.00pm for a “strategic power nap” till 11.45pm. I was keen to be nice and alert to fully enjoy the total eclipse highlight.
It was spectacular as expected. The best views for me were through my wide field (9 degrees) binoculars. The pink Moon looked quite etherial and appeared to "hover in the ether" surrounded by dozens of sparking jewels. It also appeared to look much more three-dimensional than normal views of a bright full Moon. Probably something to do with the subtle changes in the pink hue from the centre outwards toward the limb. Of course, the complete Beehive Cluster was comfortably in the same field, including all of the outer framing stars. I kept coming back to this binocular view during the whole total eclipse period
I spent time at the telescope eyepiece too - stayed with a Panoptic 24 eyepiece giving 33X, FOV just over 2 degrees and 4.24mm exit pupil. Watching the changing hues of pink across the disk’s features was quite interesting. The Moon was in a rich star field with many many bright points of light surrounding the Moon.
There was a dominant isosceles triangle of three stars lying on it’s side and hovering above the Moon. It’s long axis was just under the width of the Moon. The three stars were each about magnitude 7. The star at the apex was very obviously red, and for the two base stars; a bright yellow-white one and a white, perhaps with a hint of blue, star
I came back to this view regularly during the eclipse too as there were a number of Lunar occultations of fainter stars that would not be visible at all under a fully illuminated full Moon. There was one star that the Moon’s limb just cleared - it would have been a classic grazing occultation somewhere nearby. I also managed to pick up 2 occultation re-appearances. Watching these gave me a very clear impression of the Moon’s fine motion across the sky.
I also took some 8 second time exposures using a wide angle lens to get the very distant lights of Hobart to frame the images. I also managed some successful iPhone photos at the telescope eyepiece.
Clouds started appearing at about 1.30 pm and by 1.45 I was all clouded out - party over.
Binocular: Vixen SG 6.5X32WP
Scope: Vixen NA140SS on TRex mount and Panoptic 24 eyepiece.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:57 PM
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bigjoe (Joe)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderboxsky View Post
We had clear skies here in southern Tasmania for the eclipse despite the best efforts of some rolling banks of very heavy cloud during the day to stick around. They cleared later than forecast but just in time!
I set up all my equipment early under the exceptionally bright Moon and then retreated at about 10.00pm for a “strategic power nap” till 11.45pm. I was keen to be nice and alert to fully enjoy the total eclipse highlight.
It was spectacular as expected. The best views for me were through my wide field (9 degrees) binoculars. The pink Moon looked quite etherial and appeared to "hover in the ether" surrounded by dozens of sparking jewels. It also appeared to look much more three-dimensional than normal views of a bright full Moon. Probably something to do with the subtle changes in the pink hue from the centre outwards toward the limb. Of course, the complete Beehive Cluster was comfortably in the same field, including all of the outer framing stars. I kept coming back to this binocular view during the whole total eclipse period
I spent time at the telescope eyepiece too - stayed with a Panoptic 24 eyepiece giving 33X, FOV just over 2 degrees and 4.24mm exit pupil. Watching the changing hues of pink across the disk’s features was quite interesting. The Moon was in a rich star field with many many bright points of light surrounding the Moon.
There was a dominant isosceles triangle of three stars lying on it’s side and hovering above the Moon. It’s long axis was just under the width of the Moon. The three stars were each about magnitude 7. The star at the apex was very obviously red, and for the two base stars; a bright yellow-white one and a white, perhaps with a hint of blue, star
I came back to this view regularly during the eclipse too as there were a number of Lunar occultations of fainter stars that would not be visible at all under a fully illuminated full Moon. There was one star that the Moon’s limb just cleared - it would have been a classic grazing occultation somewhere nearby. I also managed to pick up 2 occultation re-appearances. Watching these gave me a very clear impression of the Moon’s fine motion across the sky.
I also took some 8 second time exposures using a wide angle lens to get the very distant lights of Hobart to frame the images. I also managed some successful iPhone photos at the telescope eyepiece.
Clouds started appearing at about 1.30 pm and by 1.45 I was all clouded out - party over.
Binocular: Vixen SG 6.5X32WP
Scope: Vixen NA140SS on TRex mount and Panoptic 24 eyepiece.
Lucky you Steve.. all I got was a glimpse of the Penumbra through a sucker hole..the rest on Youtube Feeds...

As you mention...M44 the BEEHIVE ...would have been only just over 3° away from Totality, and a sight in Binos wide enough to accommodate them both.

bigjoe.

Last edited by bigjoe; 01-02-2018 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Add
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:24 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Thanks for your interesting report Steve.

I was fortunately that the clouds parted just prior to the main event. However, thin cloud prevented me from having decent observations of anything else.

So I enjoyed the spectacle of the strangely red and dim moon. I wished this would happen every month!

When it was all over, I also enjoyed the unusual sight of the full Moon. I mean, it was really full. I normally see some shadows from craters on one side, either north or south. However, it was perfectly full, and perfectly round, except for 2 small mountains (or crater walls) extending beyond the Moon's circular edge.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:09 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Yes, I noticed that at the time but did not think much further about it. We were observing the Moon right at the centre point of the "Full Moon' period, if that is the right description.
It was very bright too!

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Originally Posted by Tropo-Bob View Post
When it was all over, I also enjoyed the unusual sight of the full Moon. I mean, it was really full. I normally see some shadows from craters on one side, either north or south. However, it was perfectly full, and perfectly round, except for 2 small mountains (or crater walls) extending beyond the Moon's circular edge.
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