I seriously started to doubt my sanity when the alarm clock went off at 2:45am. I found myself pulling on layer after layer of clothing before dragging my tired carcass outside to join the telescope in the crystal clear 4ΒΊC January weather. The moon looks like countless other full moons I’ve seen before. Maybe a little brighter than usual, but maybe that’s just my imagination.

I was seriously starting to doubt that I’d got the right day, when the show finally started. “Looks like somebody’s taken a bite out of the moon”, I said and smiled to myself. Time to get to those pictures! In between pictures I took occasional looks through my binoculars, but what really fascinated me was the environment.The crisp shadows were slowly dissolving, and the stars were beginning to show! A few times I couldn’t help removing the camera and looking at M42, or a cluster or two. Don’t get much chance for that during a full moon!

Totality finally arrived about 4:30am. Dark red, beautiful. So dark at one point that I had some trouble framing the moon in the camera. Time for a blanket, some coffee and to pop in another roll of film! 10 minuets later, bundled up and sipping from a thermos I crashed on a deck chair to enjoy the show.

I was lucky enough to catch 2 “shooting stars” while I tried to stay awake for the second half. Suddenly, there it was. A sliver of light so bright it made the moon look oval. 5:20am and I know I’m not going to be worth a damn tomorrow, but right now that really doesn’t matter. Back to the camera. I gotta get some pictures for the sleepy heads!

Turtle! 22/01/2000

Click on an image to see a larger version.
Some info on the pics: 2 rolls of 24 exposure Kodak Gold 400ASA film shot with a Canon AE-1. Exposures during partial were between 125th/s and 15th/s. 4 to 10 second exposures during totality. All were taken at prime focus on my LX50 with Meade’s Variable Tele-Extender. 21 descent pictures out of 48 exposures. Better than I expected! πŸ™‚
Animated GIF:
From the images above I was able to put together this rather jumpy animated gif of the eclipse using an aincient copy of MS GIF Animator… (Now there’s a piece of software that never in my life thought I was going to use!)
Added 24/03/00: Just got the Kodak PhotoCD back from the photo lab, and wow what a difference!!! Click on the thumbnails below for 640×480 at 256 colour versions. They are all taken from the same negative.
Scanned with and Epson FilmScan 200 and edited in PhotoShop. I sharpened the image, and darkened the background.
Original Kodak PhotoCD image.
Kodak PhotoCD edited in PhotoShop. Specks and scratches removed, light unsharp filter applied and I fiddled with the colour and contrast mainly to darken the sky.