Sunday, December 11, 2011
DEC'11 Lunar Eclipse
What a great way to close out the observational year! I was very fortunate to have excellent viewing conditions and a easy to get to location to see this show - right on my driveway!
I was out the door at 4:15 a.m and I was able to spy the faint penumbrae "gray dusting" with my naked eye - easy with our very dry air conditions! Shades of gray on top of shades of grey.
First contact of the umbra is a highlight for me and right on time it shows itself kissing the lunar western frontier! Could it be because my street name is "Umbria Court" that I love this stuff so much?
As the shadow sojourned across Tom shows up to enjoy the unfolding shadow show. He joined me last year at this time for the previous total lunar eclipse. The cold and hour did not deter him from hanging out with the SUG, having some of his nitro coffee, and listening to my roaming commentary. Tom made good observes watching lunar features brighten and fade as totality came upon us. He really enjoyed the crater Tyco show that you can see in the pics!
AT 104 was the perfect scope for this outing with his sharp optics. The colors were absolutely vivid!
Here are keys to a successful early morning and very cool temperature Lunar Eclipse observe : Hot stick to your ribs SUGO Chicken Paprikash & Pasta the night before and nitro coffee! Bliss!
And of course a ruddy moon with shades of red, orange, brown and rust to color my western morning sky. By a stroke of celestial geometry I was just able to catch the end of totality on my nearby foothill with the binoculars with Luna a mere 5 degrees above the horizon shaded by morning haze in the distance. Not be left out Mrs.SUG joined me right at this minute and caught the still eclipsed moon as it kissed the western horizon. Impressed she was with this sublime view and her spouses fervor and tenacity to view all things cosmic!