Time lapsed: the Moon plunges into shadow

The entire universe in blog form
July 14 2011 12:46 PM

Time lapsed: the Moon plunges into shadow

I've seen a lot of lunar eclipses, and they are usually really lovely (as the pictures I've been posting attest to), but they're very slow, lasting for hours. It's fun to look for a minute, go do something else for a few, then look again and see how the lighting on the Moon has changed. You don't really get a sense of motion, just change over time.

But what if you could smoothly speed it up? What would it look like then?

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Advertisement

Magic.

This time lapse video was taken by Jean-Luc Dauvergne in Tajikstan (as an aside, the capitol city of Dushanbe is my hometown Boulder's sister city). It spans 5 hours, and you can see just how the very bright full Moon plunges into darkness as it enters the shadow of the Earth.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Moon was near the galactic center in the sky, so you can see the Milky Way hanging dramatically next to the red Moon, festooned with various star-forming gas clouds as indicated in the video.

This is a stunning view of the eclipse like I've never seen before. The reflection on the lake is simply wonderful as well. As more people are taking advantage of digital photography with pan-and-scan camera mounts, I expect we'll be seeing more clever sequences like this.

Tip o' the lens cap to APOD and Thomas Buckfelder.



Related posts:


TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 16 2014 5:47 PM Tale of Two Fergusons We knew blacks and whites saw Michael Brown’s killing differently. A new poll shows the gulf that divides them is greater than anyone guessed.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 5:07 PM One Comedy Group Has the Perfect Idea for Ken Burns’ Next Project
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.