The first total lunar eclipse of 2014 occurred last night and should have been visible across most of North America, South America, Hawaii and parts of Alaska. For most of the states east of the Mississippi River, staying up to view the eclipse turned out to be a disappointment due to poor weather conditions that limited or eliminated visibility. But in Florida, the sky could not have been better!
Doug and I set an alarm for 2:30am and he had gone to bed with his camera and tripod setup. He popped out of bed and promised to let me know when the “Blood Moon” was at its peak. I got to sleep about another half hour before he came in and said that it was something I’d want to see. I dragged myself out of a slumber and made it out to the back yard with the dogs, we sat and watched Doug photograph the moon for about a half hour, you could actually see the orange/red color taking over.
You could actually see the moon moving in Doug’s viewfinder on the camera, that was kind of amazing. The conditions were so good here in Florida that you could also see Mars off to the right of the moon very clearly. Mars looked big and bright because it was passing within 57 million miles of Earth – it’s closest approach since January 2008, according to Space.com
Lunar eclipses occur when the moon is in the full moon stage and passes through the Earth’s shadow, darkening the moon’s normal bright white glow. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is entirely blocked by shadow and can take on a real orange/red color due to sunlight scattering through the edges of the Earth’s atmosphere. This moon is often called a “Blood Moon.” (info courtesy of Space.com)
The eclipse last night was the first in a series of four, occurring in six month intervals. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on October 8, 2014, then April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015. All of them are expected to be visible from most of North America, so put it in your calendar and set your alarm!
I’m going back to bed now.
for being part of my
click to enlarge any of Douglas Nelson Photography’s images