Lunar Eclipse Alert ~ Super Blood Wolf Moon on Sunday, January 21

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Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

A pair of eclipse sequences captured by Marv Goldschmitt (top) and Dennis Rainville (bottom) of the BCA Photo Group – Images (c) all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Sunday’s Super Blood Wolf Moon will rise over Bedford in the ENE sky at 4:53 pm next Sunday, January 20. A total lunar eclipse will begin at 10:34 pm and last for just over an hour. The excitement should be visible in Bedford if the skies are clear.

The Eclipse for Families

With the Martin Luther King, Jr. school holiday on Monday, January 21, this could be a great introduction to astronomy for your family. The JPL/NASA website shares engaging activities for students from kindergarten to high school.

How Will Sunday’s Eclipse Unfold

Thanks to https://www.earthsky.org, here’s a timeline for the overnight celestial show

  • Partial umbral eclipse begins: 10:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
  • Total lunar eclipse begins: 11:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
  • Greatest eclipse: 12:12 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
  • Total lunar eclipse ends: 12:43 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
  • Partial umbral eclipse ends: 1:51 a.m. (January 21, 2019

Capturing a Great Eclipse Image
Marv Goldschmitt and Dennis Rainville, photographers affiliated with Bedford’s BCA Photo Group have checked in to share tips for capturing your best image of the eclipse.

 

An eclipse sequence by Marv Goldschmitt – Image (c) 2015 all rights reserved

From Marv Goldschmitt: Since the eclipse happens in the late evening and early morning and high up in the sky, unless you intend to use a referent object like a tall building, I don’t think the locale is all that important. If there’s a clear sky, even light pollution isn’t that much of a deterrent since the moon is so bright, even in totality (though you do have to adjust exposure). I’ve shot a number of these and have found that it’s actually the sequence that matters.

Using a tripod, and turning off your camera’s image stabilization feature will help to assure a crisp image.
 
What I find most memorable is actually experiencing the whole process in quiet and wonder. The photography was an impetus to do that.

 

An eclipse sequence by Dennis Rainville – Image (c) 2004 all rights reserved

From Dennis Rainville: Some tips for capturing your best image

  • Lower light location is preferable (street lights, city lights, etc are not the best)
  • The moon is much brighter than you think. 
  • A “Normal” exposure for the moon should start at F8, 1/250s. Tweak from there.
  • Once the moon goes into eclipse, it is much darker. You will need to change your shutter speed.
  • Be careful, anything over 10 seconds will cause the moon to blur!
  • Watch for condensation on your lens through the night’s cold temperatures, it’s a common problem that can spoil images and harm your camera
  • Some people will strap hand warmers around their lens to battle the condensation.
  • Headlamps are really useful. Keep them on the Red light so your eyes will have an easier time to adjust. (Fingerless gloves could be useful as well!)
  • Know your camera before you go. You will need to make adjustments in the dark.


The BCA Photo Group:

The Bedford Center for the Arts Photo Group invites individuals who enjoy learning about technical and artistic aspects of photography to investigate membership. The group helps members to improve the quality of their work and to become more productive.  The group emphasizes education and image sharing rather than competition and welcomes photographers with all levels of expertise.  Guests are always welcome. Click this link to learn more about the BCA Photo Group.

Sharing Your Eclipse Photographs
If you capture an eclipse photo you’d like to share with other readers of The Bedford Citizen, please send your high-resolution image (full-sized, crisp cellphone images are fine) to thebedfordcitizen@gmail.com as an email attachment

Finally, why does this moon have such a complex name?
The moon is named ‘Super’ because it will be at perigee, its closest pass to the earth, and its apparent size will be magnified. ‘Blood’ refers to the color of the moon during an eclipse, and ancient Native people named January’s full moon a ‘Wolf’ moon since the animals were thought to howl as it shone.


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

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