Total Lunar Eclipse (timelapse)

Last month a total lunar eclipse was observed in Madeira Islands.

I managed to take a bunch of photos that I intended to compile as a Timelapse. The following video is the result:

I used a timelapse interval of 20 seconds (photos were taken every 20 seconds). As the moon “traveled” through the sky I had to reposition my camera several times (it’s incredible how fast the moon moves inside the viewfinder from one corner to the other). I changed my exposure settings a few times to adjust them to the different amount of light coming from the moon. The timelapse video was compiled at 5 frames per second (5 fps). At the end there is also a realistic animation of how the total lunar eclipse looked like that night.

Lunar Eclipse progression

First we see the shadow of the Earth gradually covering the moon.

As the moon gets darker it gets a reddish color until it gets completely red. This red moon is sometimes called “Blood Moon”. It is the result of the light of the sun being refracted by the Earth atmosphere much like what happens in a sunset.

Then, the moon starts to emerge from behind the Earth into the light of the sun, getting brighter and brighter:
until there is no shadow and the moon is full again.

This is undoubtedly a memorable event. The moon began to be dark at about 2:00 am , was totally red at about 3:15 am , began to recover its brightness at about 4:30 am and was full moon again by 5:30 am.
As you can see it took several hours to appreciate the whole phenomenon, it made me sleep outside, waking up from time to time to look at the sky, but it was worth the effort.

Next total lunar eclipses

In 2018 and 2019 the moon will become red again in Funchal [1]. So, if you have miss it this year don’t miss the next ones.

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