Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain on Full Moons (except on occasion of lunar eclipse)

One of the best lunar eclipses in quite some time and it is rainy and cloudy all day.  The one time I actually want to look at the moon, to watch it's blinding light get swallowed by earths shadow, and winter weather comes to spoil the party.

But come dusk, a break in the clouds.  I quickly set up shop:  Little 80mm refractor on travel mount.  Attach camera.  Focus on full moon.  Cover set up with large garbage bag so the rain gods cannot see a telescope in the open.  Go inside.  Wait.

The garbage bag must of worked as the clouds went north, south, and only occasionally by the moon.  Come showtime it was mostly cloud free until near totality.  Here is one of the last shots I took before a massive cloud bank spotted me and rushed to cover.

click a couple times for XL version

I was so very lucky to see so much of the eclipse and had forgotten how spectacular it is to watch the stars come out.

Since we are apparently stuck with a bright moon, and pretty obvious that we need rain I am of the belief that the two should go together.  Let's get our rain durning the full moons only and not waste perfectly good dark skies with clouds.  Except on lunar eclipses.  Then it needs to be clear.  I don't think that is too much to ask do you?

Lunar Eclipse
San Jose, CA  December 21, 2010
Canon T2i (stock), Astrotech AT80LE, 480mm  f5

Astrotrac Travel System Mount
1.6sec @ ISO800

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