On the night of the full moon on 15 June 2011, my son informed me that it’s going to be a “Blood Moon” tonight. As I looked up to a beautiful full moon I thought, “It’s possible, since lunar eclipses occur during full moon. Although I didn’t have any advanced warning about it.” So after we got home and after my son was finished with his homework on the computer, I checked on the Lunar Eclipse. True enough, it was going to happen this night…starting 1:30AM – 5AM. It was supposed to be one of the longest as the period of totality is 100 minutes!
I woke up at 2AM to try and take pictures but unfortunately it was cloudy! So I went back to sleep andI woke up at 4AM to try again. I had diffficulty locating it. I’ve seen a total lunar eclipse when I was a kid and it wasn’t this dark. When I finally found it, it was a very dark blood red. I tried a 1.5-second exposure at f/8.0 and ISO800 and it hardly registered. At 3 seconds exposure here’s what I got:
Did you notice the faint star at the lower left of the image? It was in all my shots. I increased the ISO setting to 1600 to compensate for the extremely poor lighting. The downside in using higher ISO is that it results in a grainy image.
The star on the lower left is more visible although it appears like a dash (rather than a dot) due to the Earth’s rotation and longer exposure time.
I further increased the ISO to 3200 which made the image more visible (and grainier). The lunar seas (the large dark splotches) are more visible, too!
At ISO 3200, I increase the exposure time to 4 seconds and tried different apertures.