October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse progress in 8-minute intervals

Lunar eclipses happen every year, so it's not particularly rare. But they're not always total eclipses. In fact, the last total lunar eclipse in Korea happened in 2011. So this time around, I got myself fully ready to take some nice photos of the event with my superzoom camera, Canon SX50 HS.

On October 8, the Moon was to rise from due east on 17:59 and the eclipse was to start right after at 18:14, but the building next to my workplace was blocking the view. So after the work hours were over, I headed to a nearby overpass and set up my tripod near the center. I was able to start seeing the Moon getting behind the Earth's shadow, but just as I started taking the photos, heavy clouds started to block the view. It was frustrating, but I waited out.

The animated total lunar eclipse
Click for larger version
Eventually, by 18:50, the clouds moved away and I was able to get a clear view of the Moon again. From then on, I made two shots, one bright (1-second) and one dark (usually 1/30-second), every two minutes. I was able to continue shooting like this without trouble for over two and a half hours, save for one brief cloudy interruption. As the eclipse ended at 21:34, the camera's battery completely ran out. I made over 150 shots, and of which 85 was usable for making an animated version as you see here.

The shots were manually hand-aligned as close together as possible over the weekend, and the resulting photos were resized to fit the screen more easily, as well as making the animated GIF file a reasonable size. The original photos were shot at 50x zoom, resulting in the Moon being about 1350 pixels wide. The larger animation had this reduced to 25% its original size. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Enjoy the show!

Device: Canon SX50 HS
Settings: 1200mm (25% size or less) - ISO 400 - 1s ~ 1/250s - f/6.5
Filters: None
Time: 2014-10-08 18:50 ~ 21:34 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
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