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Live Under a Blood Red Speck

Super Blood Moon!

10:51 pm.. EDT — See that tiny, funny-colored dot at upper right? That’s no space station.

No, the above photo was not necessarily my best attempt at capturing the soul of tonight’s much-ballyhooed “super blood moon” very special astronomical event, but it’s the first one I took when I discovered my Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS has a setting called “Handheld NightScene”. The moon is visible in that shot, but wasn’t for long. Here in Indianapolis we’ve been under cloud cover all weekend long, and they refused to let up even for something as unusual as a lunar eclipse, let alone an oddly hued one. I’d describe this as “once in a blue moon”, but I’m not sure which moon color is rarer and I’d rather not spark any sky-science semantics squabbles over this.

I didn’t take the greatest SuperBloodMoon photos of all time, but at the very least, the pics leading up to the feature presentation were the best moon pics I’ve ever taken in my life. For a thoroughly amateur photographer, I’ll take that little victory.

Here’s the best takes on what we saw before the clouds solidified the gaps between each other and ruined an otherwise cool evening. All time stamps are Eastern Daylight Time, and for once I’ve resisted the urge to crop or resize any of them.


Nighttime Sky!

8:54 p.m. — The starting skyline above our neighbors’ house.

The Moon!

Still 8:54 p.m. — The starting moon. I cranked up the digital zoom to 31x, gave the lens time to focus, and held as steadily as I could, which is no simple feat.

Lunar Eclipse Begins!

9:13 p.m. — IT HAS BEGUN.

Lunar Eclipse continues!

9:29 p.m. — More eclipse, slightly less focus, giving it a fun sort of sci-fi cartoon feel.

Lunar Eclipse!

9:30 p.m. — Nearly the halfway point, this was our last solid view of the Moon before the clouds summoned reinforcements that marched in like clueless Stormtroopers.

Hidden Moon!

10:38 p.m. — The clouds allowed a few breaks over the next hour-plus. However, today I learned that without the light of the silvery moon, my camera hates photographing celestial bodies. This was the best it could do on the default AUTO setting, even with the digital zoom.

Super Blood Moon!

10:45 — For comparison, here’s the best my phone camera could manage. For the next heavenward event I may need to search for a more accommodating camera app.

Super Blood Moon!

10:55 p.m. — After I discovered the “Handheld NightScene” setting, and once the clouds cooperated with me one last time, this was the reddest shot I could get with the camera.

Shortly after 11 p.m. I gave up because the clouds merged into a solid sheet from here to the horizon. I’ve been compulsively checking outside every ten minutes while typing this, but no more luck. My stargazing is over for the night. If nothing else, it was a technological learning experience, and now we have nifty new moon photos for our collection, despite those stupid photobombing clouds.

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5 responses

  1. You beat me too it! I was just about post some shots as well. And I also have a Canon but it’s a Powershot XS260, I think they’re similar. I really like your third moon photo because you captured that mistyness all around it and it looks glowy and magical!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I still get frustrated with night shots but it’s muuuch better than my old Kodak. You’re going to have a good time experimenting with your camera. I’m still learning and I’ve had this for almost 2 years now. What I really want now is a telescope!

        Like

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