Local Eclipsers Snowed Out!

Most of Ontario and much of eastern Canada saw no lunar eclipse Jan 31 due to poor weather. However, NASA TV did broadcast the eclipse from 4 sites, and only one, the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii was clouded out. Griffith Observatory near Los Angeles and Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB as well as the Mt Lemmon Observatory north of Tucson AZ had clear conditions. NASA was able to supply high quality images from start to finish as the Moon set in the west around 7 am MST. Even in the most western locations in North America (except Alaska), the Moon set just after or a bit before the last bit of umbra had departed the face of the Moon.

The full Moon was visible through thin, quickly moving clouds for a time after moonrise in Owen Sound and climbed above the escarpment to the east of my location.


Composite image of Jan 30 full Moon only 12 hours before eclipse. Last time we saw it from Owen Sound was around midnight.
Canon 60Da with 100 mm lens (eff=160mm) ISO 3200 f/4.5 1/15 s (background) plus FM at 1/800 s at 6:18 pm EST (John H. Image)

But even then the clouds hid the moon for 20% of the time and by 9 pm, there was significant cloud cover. When I rose at 5:45 am to check the skies, there was a barely perceptible disk of moonlight and by 6 am, it was snowing in Owen Sound and the Moon was invisible. NASA TV to the rescue!

Images below from NASA TV were broadcast live and viewers got to see it from different locations (Griffith Observatory and Armstrong Flight Research Center near Los Angeles, Mt. Lemmon Observatory (N. of Tucson AZ) and the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii. The latter location was clouded out. Here is a sampling of images.


The fully eclipse Moon was right next to the Beehive Cluster in the centre of Cancer at right. The original image was a screen capture of the NASA feed and was slightly enhanced in PS to bring out more stars in the cluster. Mt. Lemmon Observatory near Tucson AZ.

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This image was taken just before the inset of totality from Griffith Observatory north of Los Angeles.

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Another Griffith Observatory image around mid-totality.

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Totality is just over and the edge of the Earth’s umbra is starting to appear at lower left.

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Partial phase is underway after umbral eclipse ends in this image from Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edward’s AFB

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Partial is still underway as daylight approaches and the Moon sets below the western horizon at Edward’s AFB.

Griffith Observatory has put together a time-lapse video here: Griffith Time-Lapse

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