Monthly Archives: December 2010

Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice

moon

Moon partially eclipsed

I’ve seen quite a few lunar eclipses, but this was the first that also coincided with the winter solstice. Not that they really have much to do with each other, but they’re both “astronomical” events, I suppose.

I didn’t expect to see it as we’d had predictions of rain and cloud cover for some time. When I left my clogging class in San Jose for home, the clouds were very thin and we could see the full moon through them. By the time I got home there was a nice big hole in the clouds and the eclipse had started.

So I hauled all my stuff into the house and grabbed my camera, 200mm lens, tripod, and heavy coat to spend some time outside. One nice thing about a lunar eclipse is that it can usually be viewed from your own backĀ  yard. It’s nice to have a warm house with other comforts close by on a cold night.

lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse in totality.

Back to the photography… The 200mm lens really isn’t long enough to fill the frame with the moon so these shots have been cropped considerably. It can be hard to focus at night but I recently learned a cool trick. I turn on my camera’s live view, enlarge the image, and then fine tune the focus manually. It works really well! These moon shots still aren’t as sharp as I’d like, but I think that’s more a limitation of my optics. Still, it’s nice to have some of my own pictures of the eclipse.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears red because the light is reflected from the earth and must pass through our atmosphere, particles and all.

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Filed under Night, Photography, Something Interesting I Saw, Uncategorized

Colors of the Season

Colorful tree

Multicolored tree

It’s autumn. That means the trees are showing some of their best colors. Although I live in an area that isn’t known for spectacular fall colors like in the east, we still get to enjoy some. This year I’ve noticed a bit more color for some reason. Perhaps I’m just more observant.

The tree above is near my work place and I’ve been watching it for some time. I haven’t been able to get a picture of it with the light just right, but this one, taken on a partly overcast day, at least shows the variety of color. It tickles me that one tree can have every color from green, yellow, and orange to red in the leaves. The next couple of trees next to this one haven’t been nearly as spectacular. The picture was taken about 10 days ago, and it already looks much sadder with half the leaves left on it.

Fallen Leaves
Here’s where most of the leaves end up – on the ground. These are from a different tree. I loved the glossiness of these leaves, and they weren’t even wet.

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Filed under Miscellany, Nature, Something Interesting I Saw, Walk