Taking these images was an exercise in frustration… The moon was so low in the sky, and my Canon Rebel XS was so large and heavy that my 8″ Dob kept dropping off target. I was also having sizing issues – the focal length of an 8″ Dob isn’t the best to be astro-imaging, and I could not get the moon full-frame with just a camera adapter. My telescope was dripping with dew after about 10 minutes.
I used my wife’s new little Canon SX160 IS Camera; I tried using the Canon control software on my laptop with it, but my wife’s camera was not recognized by it. The camera batteries died in the middle of the eclipse… RUN inside, rifle thru the junk drawer – AH HA! a pack of AA batteries… from Holiday? (That’s a gas station chain in the UP.) Replace the batteries, go back outside, take 2 shots… and the battery low light comes on. REALLY‽ Go get more Holiday batteries, in the insane hope this will not repeat. 4 Shots, good, no low battery light. 5 shots – low battery light, damn. Run back inside, get the last two Holiday AA batteries, cursing.
I resorted to holding the camera up to the telescope eyepiece and snapping away. I had to angle the camera in such a way as to make the ghost of the secondary mirror in the telescope not sit on top of the moon. I’m not entirely thrilled with the resolution of these images compared with the ones I took in 2004. I REALLY want to get an eyepiece camera for my telescope.
I was set up in my driveway; A young man walked by while I was out photographing, on his way to the bus-stop, and I asked if he’d been watching the eclipse?
“The What?” he asked?
“The Total Lunar Eclipse… happening NOW… over there.” I pointed west to the 80% fully eclipsed moon.
Gobsmacked, the youth asks me “What IS that?”
“That’s the moon, passing through the Earth’s shadow – it’s a fairly rare event, and it’s beautiful… enjoy!”