Between 1:45 and 5:00 AM on May 26, 2021, I saw a stunning total lunar eclipse. The experience will definitely stick with me for a long time.
Here are some highlights from the numerous pictures I took with my Canon EOS M200 camera attached to my 1962 Questar #2-14xx. I shot perspective images using a point-and-shoot camera on a tripod.
Weather forecasts predicted that a patch of high-level cloud cover would settle in during the event. Although I indeed saw a layer of hazy clouds move in, it was never bad enough to obscure the Moon fully. I took the opportunity to take lemons and made lemonade by capturing some nice images of moonlight illuminating the clouds.
Penumbral Eclipse Begins, 1:47 AM
Given its subtle nature, the penumbral phase of a lunar eclipse is perhaps best observed using a camera.
Umbral Eclipse Begins, 2:44 AM
During the 87 minutes of the umbral phase of the eclipse, one notices subtle changes that soon turn dramatic. As the Moon becomes obscured by the Earth’s umbra, the steady reduction in illumination allows the stars in the sky to pop into view. Towards the end of the umbral phase, all the familiar summertime constellations emerged. The Milky Way eventually appeared overhead. The transition was breathtaking.
Total Eclipse Begins, 4:11 AM
At this stage, the Moon became as dark as it would be over the course of the eclipse. Durnig this particular event, the Moon was approaching the horizon during totality.
Total Eclipse Ends, 4:25 AM
As the total phase of the eclipse ended, the glow of twilight appeared in the east. The Moon was still visible above the southwestern horizon, and I was able to observe the event as it wound down.