Total Lunar Eclipse Sequence

May 15-16, 2003

Warren Wilson College

Physics Department


 


10:20pm


10:36pm


10:44pm


11:05pm


11:59pm


12:06am

Click here to view large image


12:18am

Celestial north is up in all images. Notice the orientation of the earth's shadow on the moon as the moon enters and leaves the shadow. The change in orientation is due the the moon not passing through the center of the earth's shadow. The curvature of the earth's shadow is due to the relative size of the earth relative to the size of the moon. Can you estimate the relative size of earth and moon from the partial phases?

All Images photographed through 3.5 inch Questar Telescope with Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera. The weather was playing extreme havoc. A thunderstorm with hail at around 6:00 pm, followed by another heavy thunderstorm at about 9:00 pm, and finally clearing with patchy fog around 10:15 pm for viewing the eclipse.

Photographs by Donald Collins. Help was provided by Matt Rogers, and attendance by a number of students. The Nikon camera (which permits an 8 sec time exposure - necessary for the totality images was loaned by the Warren Wilson Biology Department.