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Archive for the ‘2011 lunar eclipse’ Category

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, the friendly neighborhood Downy Woodpeckers were hard at work, in the neighborhood park (look on the trunk of the middle tree):

… and in the neighbor’s backyard (these photos taken with 7×35 binoculars):


… and the planet Venus was slowly but surely drawing closer to Earth, 178 days ahead of the great June 5, 2012 Transit of Venus:

Venus, T-minus 178 days until the transit, shining in the southwestern sky at dusk, 5:15 PM CST December 10, 2011, about 130,340,000 miles from Earth. 7×35 binoculars.

As of today, December 12, 2011, the “Venus Transit Countdown” stands at T-Minus 176 days, and I’ll attempt to build anticipation and interest by posting some photos and interesting Venus facts along the way, including the following “Venus Update” series, with the most recent photo added on top:

2:21 PM CST November 29, 2011 (20:21 UT)
Angular diameter 11.46 arc seconds
89.5% illumination
Distance from Earth 135,265,885 miles (217,689,541 km)
4:18 PM CST November 20, 2011 (22:18 UT)
Angular diameter 11.13 arc seconds
91.2% illumination
Distance from Earth 139,346,992 miles (227,254,246 km)
12:03 PM CST January 5, 2011 (18:03 UTC)
Angular diameter 25.58 arc seconds
48.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 60,611,164 miles (97,544,214 km)
10:02 AM CST November 27, 2010 (16:02 UTC)
Angular diameter 44.72 arc seconds
20.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 34,669,885 miles (55,795,771 km)
12:40 PM CDT (17:40 UTC), November 5, 2010
Angular diameter 59.94 arc seconds
2.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 25,866,740 miles (41,628,483 km)

Meanwhile, I was happy to be able to witness and photograph a portion of the December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse, so here are three photos of the Moon beginning to wane after the eclipse:


12:44 AM CST 12-11-11 (6:44 UT), 60mm refractor telescope, 17mm eyepiece.

7:02 PM CST 12-11-11 (1:02 UT 12-12-11), 60mm refractor telescope, 17mm eyepiece.

9:05 PM CST 12-11-11 (3:05 UT 12-12-11), 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece.

LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click for larger view.

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At first I thought disaster had struck, as clouds were moving in when I got up at 5:30 AM! I had hoped to take a photo of the pre-eclipse bright Full Moon with the 8″ reflector before heading down to the neighborhood park with the smaller refractor. I thank God that the clouds moved on in time for the following series of photos, taken 7:03 – 7:32 AM CST on December 10, 2011 (13:03 – 13:32 UT). As you can see, at my location the Moon set in the northwest before the total stage of the eclipse began. 60mm Meade refractor telescope with 17mm eyepiece, interspersed with several photos taken with Bushnell 7×35 binoculars, all with my usual LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click for larger view.

UPDATE: I’ve added the local time for each photo, as well as a few links after the photos.


7:03 AM.


7:10 AM.


7:24 AM.


7:26 AM.


7:28 AM.


7:29 AM.


7:30 AM.


7:31 AM.


7:32 AM.


7:32 AM.

For more information about this eclipse, click these links:

(Sky and Telescope Magazine): A Dawn Eclipse of the Moon

(NASA): Total Lunar Eclipse of December 10

I’m wondering how Raven Yu of Journey To the Stars & her friends fared in the Philippines, as they would have had a splendid view of the entire eclipse, weather permitting. UPDATE: Looks like they were plagued with clouds, but she did get two pictures during the total eclipse stage, at 10:46 and 10:56 PM Philippine local time, which would have been 8:46 and 8:56 AM my time, over an hour after my photo session. You may view the photos here:
Red Moon At Totality

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