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11/08/03 Eclipse

Looks like it's been almost a year since I've taken a lunar image - time flys! We had a clear and cold night for the second lunar eclipse of 2003. The first was clouded out so I was glad for a night of good seeing. I decided to use my SAC7 and ETX70 for this shot since I wasn't sure how well the ST8i would do and I didn't want to miss it. I took shots every 15 minutes for about 5 hours in order to make a movie, but there's so much data and it is so difficult to process that it could be a while before I get it done. An eclipse is hard to process because it has very bright and very dark parts. If you decrease the gain to enhance the look of the bright parts, the dark parts go to black. Conversely, if you turn the gain up to bring out the shadows, the bright parts become over exposed. Very difficult. The easiest shot is this one - totality, when the whole moon is in Earth's Umbra. During this eclipse, the bottom never got completely dark but the top became ruby red. It was a beautiful sight.