Total Lunar Eclipse

February 21, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Videos 1,110 views

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Total EclipseLast night there was a total lunar eclipse. There won’t be another one for almost 3 years. Plus, it’s the first astronomical event since buying my new camera. So I wasn’t going to miss it. The only problem was that, in Spain, it occurred at 4:00 AM in the morning. The sky was overcast all day yesterday, so I figured there would be no way for me to see the eclipse, but at about midnight, all the clouds blew away and the heavens became clear. I wasn’t very tired, so I decided to stay up until 4:00 AM instead of setting an alarm and going to bed. The things I do for my blog readers….
Moon Glare

Moon glare.


Over exposure.

Wispy Clouds

The last of the clouds pass by.

Moon Ghost

Lunar doppelgí¤nger.

Moon and two stars

Saturn on the left, and Regulus on the right.


More glare and over exposure.

Lunar Eclipse with Ghost

Another doppelgí¤nger.

It was about this time that I figured out that it was the UV filter on my lens that was causing all the hexagonal glare. Once that was removed, all was good.


More than half way now.

Oops, shutter open!

On this shot, I forgot that the shutter was open when I picked up my camera. When I realized the problem, I set it down again.

At 3:36 in the morning, the thought crossed my mind, “I wonder if I could write with the moon?”

Lunar E

My first initial, written with a lunar pen. I can neither confirm nor deny that this is my superhero call symbol.

Lunar Signature

A sloppy signature. The E and R are clearly visible. It was tough because the viewfinder blacks out when the shutter opens, so I had to do it by feel alone.


Approaching totality.

Total Eclipse

A little further!

Total Eclipse

After much experimentation, I found that I got the best results when setting my camera to “Shutter priority” and setting the shutter speed to 1/6 or 1/8 seconds.

Total Eclipse

Total eclipse.

Of course the whole time I was out in the cold taking these shots, I had my DIY Telephoto Lens setup filming the moon whiz across the night sky. And now, for the feature presentation…

Thanks to a service that I will write more about soon, this video is also available on YouTube, Yahoo, Google, Revver, DailyMotion,, Veoh, Crackle and Stupid Videos.

  • At 3:36 in the morning, the thought crossed my mind, “I wonder if I could write with the moon?”


    As I am typing this comment I cannot help but notice a very strange icon attached to my name. I don’t know what this is about but am, to quote sgazzetti, fibrillating with excitement to find out what happens when I hit “submit comment” in a few seconds.

  • Jane, that comment preview avatar is a borrowed idea. Do you recognize the avatar you ended up with for your comment? (looking at the html source is cheating)

  • Yeah, it looks like the bluehost icon. After I commented I signed up for the gravatar thing because the idea of the wrong avatar showing up with my comment was more than I could bear. Can’t…take…the…pressure….

  • Aaaaaaaand now I see it was a wasted effort as the bluehost avatar is still showing up.

  • Hmmm… You signed up with the exact address you place comments with? I wonder if it takes a while…

    The comment preview should use your avatar now. Change the email field to my or sgazzetti’s email address and you’ll see what I mean.

    Try out the diagnostic.

  • Great post but suspicious use of acronym tag.

  • Thanks.

    The <acronym> tag is misnamed. I use it as if it were a <parenthetical> tag.

  • I had to look that up. Surely you could just use parenthesise if that was your aim.

    What proof do you have that <acronym> tag is misnamed?

    If it is misnamed then what tag do we use to improve the accessibility for acronyms?

  • I love comment thread tangents. 🙂

    It’s not really misnamed, that was just me being brash. The problem is that XHTML allows for two different tags that do exactly the same thing: <abbr> and <acronym>. I suppose you could make the argument that they are subtly different in the way that people argue for the need for the other identical pairs (<b> and <strong>, <i> and <em>, etc.), but those are weak arguments, in my opinion.

    My current preference for (mis)using the <acronym> tag to provide a parenthetical phrase is borrowed from my fellow blog buddy, sgazzetti. I like the way that parenthetical remarks can be hidden away so that the text flows more cleanly, and the extra information, if desired, can be attained by hovering over the dotted-underlined text. It makes the comments more optional than using standard parentheses.

    What I meant was that it would be nice if there were a <paren> tag that would provide similar functionality. Of course the proper way to do what I’m doing is to use a <span class=”parenthetical” title=”whatever”>, but I’ve been too lazy to do that so far. At some point, I’d like to write a program to run through my blog database and convert everything to proper XHTML Strict. I will probably remedy my naughty acronyming then.