|2015 Totally Eclipsed Super Moon
2015 中秋夜 加上 超級月亮 再加上 全蝕 的 金紅月亮
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The special event of the total lunar eclipse of super moon can be seen in New Jersey, USA from about
8 PM on Sunday September 27 (which is Chinese Mid Autumn Moon Festival 中秋夜) to about 1 AM
of Monday September 28. It is called Super Moon because the moon is at its closest distance to earth.
Unfortunately it was very cloudy in New Jersey during this time period. But fortunately, the clouds
were moving at a good pace such that I could see the moon on and off and took some pictures during
the gaps of the clouds or through thinner layer of clouds. I put a chair on the circular driveway in
front of my house and sat down on the chair to take these pictures using my compact super-zoom
camera (Canon PowerShot SX 60 HS with 65X optical zoom) with the help of my monopod.
This first picture is the gorgeous view of the super moon just before the eclipse started.
Eclipse just started.
About half way into the eclipse.
這個難得的天文景象： 中秋夜 加上 超級月亮 再加上 全蝕 的 金紅月亮。超級月球是在
Totally eclipsed super moon in golden red color.
A stunning sight! A perfect Gift of Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival from Mother Nature! At total
eclipse, the moon light was much dimmer, but was still visible with vibrant lovely golden-red color.
Why is it red? This is due to several effects of Earth's atmosphere on different parts of color
spectrum of sunlight as explained in the following:
During a total lunar eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Earth's moon line up in space and moon passes
deep inside the shadow of earth.
If the earth had no atmosphere to diffract the sunlight, the moon under total eclipse would be totally
dark and invisible.
But the red color portion of sunlight with longer wavelength is able to pass through the Earth's
atmosphere and cast a glow of vibrant lovely red color on the moon through diffraction effect of
earth's atmosphere. On the other hand, the earth atmosphere filters out (or scatters away) blue light,
leaving red and orange colors glowing on the moon.
This is somewhat similar to the warm glow of low-angle gorgeous golden sunset view!
Another view of the totally eclipsed super moon. (I was playing with different setting of my camera to take
pictures of the totally eclipsed super moon.)
It was quite a challenge to take such pictures of the totally eclipsed moon with very dim light on a
cloudy night because compact (super-zoom) camera that I was using is not optimized for low light
photography. The professional DSLR cameras with larger aperture size and larger photo sensors are
more suitable for such low light photography. But the DSLR camera will require a bulky, heavy and
expensive telephoto lens supported by a heavy duty monopod or heavy duty tripod for such
photography of lunar total eclipse.
The moon started coming out of total eclipse.
In this picture, the focus point of my camera probably was on the eclipsed, dark side of the moon such that
the brighter Crescent of the moon was over exposed. But the eclipsed side of the moon was in copper color.
A band of turquoise-blue edge to Earth's shadow set against the copper colored moon on this picture was
indescribably beautiful! The source of the turquoise is ozone in earth's upper atmosphere. Atmospheric
scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: "During a lunar eclipse, most of the light
illuminating the moon passes through the stratosphere where it is reddened by scattering. However, light
passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer, which absorbs red light and actually
makes the passing light ray bluer." This can be seen, he says, as a soft blue fringe around the red core of
Slightly more than half way out of total eclipse.
After the eclipse was over.
My photos from another event of total lunar eclipse on December 20, 2010 are on my web page at:
The pictures on December 20, 2010 are better than these pictures on this web page probably because the
sky was clear on December 20, 2010, but was very cloudy on September 27, 2015.