Astrophotography: Lunar Eclipse Style

A few weeks ago there was a not-so-common astronomical occurrence: a total Lunar Eclipse.  The last one visible in North America was in December of 2011.  I photographed that one with a basic point-and shoot camera.  (I can’t find the pictures anymore; maybe they’re stuck on an old computer).  For Christmas this year, I got an awesome DSLR!  So this time around I was ready to take awesome pictures.

So on Monday April 14th, 2014 I stayed up until 3 am on Tuesday.  For those who don’t know me, this is WAYYYY past my normal bedtime of around 11 pm.  But this was a once-in-a-few-years event and I wasn’t going to miss it.  Besides, I didn’t have class the next day until 11 am, so I could sleep in all I wanted.
Another part of this night was that it was during Kansas’s bipolar season where it couldn’t decide if it wanted to snow or burn the world to a crisp.  As luck would have it, it was a wonderful 25 degrees out that night.  The one below freezing night of the whole week.  (Why not? last year it snowed on May 10th, a week before classes got out!)  So I bundled up nice and warm and grabbed my camera and went out the door.
As you can see in the gallery of pictures below, I decided to sequence the process of the moon becoming eclipsed, so I took some pictures every 30 minutes or so until the eclipse started (the moon was turning red).  For all the pictures I used a Canon t3 with a 75-300mm zoom lens.  I tried out a bunch of ISOs and exposure times and chose the best to compile together and upload.  I ended up taking about 200 pictures that night, but it was super awesome.  I literally squealed every time I went out to take another set of pictures, because the moon just looked that awesome.  This is why I am a nerd.  This is why I’m minoring in astronomy.
So, below you can find my favorite pics of the night as well as the vlog I made about the process on my youtube channel.
Nicole Marie

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