|Lunar Eclipse 08-Nov-2003
Actually, it was neither:The images were
from single shots that captured the moon as
it slowly slipped backward relative to the
background stars. To help explain the
phenomenon, I created the "Moontrail"
image seen below.
The bright star near the left edge, was used
as a focal point to "register" seven images
taken over a 43 minute span, while the
moon seems to be sliding backwards.
The animation on the left was formed using 13 thumbnail images
from the set, and depicts the full eclipse sequence.
A slight nutation (tilting wobble) occurs during the moon's 4 1/2
hour celestial journey, and can be more readily noted in the two
image sequence on the right, comprised of the first and final
frames (17:53 vs 22:17 EST).
An even more dramatic display is that of parallax... a change in
libration caused by a wide change in observational position, thus
providing a different line of sight.
This is well illustrate in the animation below, consisting of images
taken simulataneously (01:18UT) in Connecticut, USA by myself
and in Styria, Austria by accomplished imager Johannes Schedler.
Taken just prior to totality (20:03 EST), the above image shows reveals a background starfield no longer hidden in the moon's glow.
The progession seen below has been annotated from ingress to egress, with local EST times listed (add 5 hours for UT). The brighter
penumbral phase used exposure levels optimized for the illuminated portion, while the umbral progression was set to capture the dark. The
event begins at the upper left, with an image taken at 17:52 local time (EST, 22:52UT) and terminates with the lower right image, taken at
22:17 EST. The umbra series begins at 19:57 EST and winds completes at 20:41 EST.
Approximately 100 images were taken during the evening (all keepers!) , but that number needed to be reduced sufficiently to allow a
managable display, hence only 21 of them are presented above. The raw images each measure 3072 x 2048 pixels and were converted to
16/48 bit 36Mb images, so they too were substantially reduced in size for web display (the "working copy" of this poster is 38 X 56 inches).
The concept was the brainchild of Peter
Lawrence, who co-ordinated the
collection of timed images from those
areas within the eclipse path, preparing
an extensive lunar parallax
An astute friend noticed that in two of the
preview shots from this series, the moon
basked in a different position among the
background stars. Thinking I had merely
plonked a copy of the moon disks on top
of a starfield shot for ambiance, he asked
if I had "slipped up" with the placement,
or had perhaps mis-calculated where the
disk should be.
New and hot!!!
Using a shifted starfield as a backdrop, an
interesting psuedo-3D image can be
fabricated (click here)!