Your Photos of the Lunar Eclipse

Thomas Loupe_1.jpg

When my alarm went off at 3 AM this morning, I had a moment of disorientation. What day is it? Why is my phone making noises in the middle of the night? Where am I?

Oh, yes, I remembered. I was on the Planet Earth, and our globe was passing in front of the sun, shadowing our moon to create a lunar eclipse. Right.

So, my girlfriend and I got up, pulled on the warmest clothes we could find in the dark and stumbled out onto the front steps. Looking up and to the west, we saw the moon hanging up there, ruddy as we'd been led to believe it would be. It didn't really look like the moon. Instead, as my girlfriend put it, it was like we were staring up at a different planet.

At a time when the discovery of increasingly earth-like planets around other stars lets us imagine what it might be like to orbit some other star, but our rockets aren't powerful enough to catapult there, that rare copper coin of a moon might be the best simulation of standing on another planet that any of us are going to get.

And that was the best part of seeing the lunar eclipse. For a minute, you were reminded that there was a solar system -- and that system conspires to make the moon look exactly like it does on every other day of the year. But change the conditions a bit and suddenly the moon looks radically different and the experience of looking up into the sky is transformed.

Several of you sent in photos of your experience. The top picture comes from Thomas Loupe, who has been doing astrophotography for a couple of years now. He used a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR with a Celestron Nexstar 8SE computerized telescope.

If you didn't have all that stuff, and you just went outside with your Canon G11, say, this is what you could do:

moonshot_acm.jpg

That's my photo and I actually think it reasonably approximates what it was like to look with the naked eye in a big city.

Finally, here's a good in-between shot by MIT Media Lab student Phil Salesses. I'm not sure what gear he used, but the photo looks great.

Salesses3x5.jpg

And because I can't help myself, here's one more photo by Thomas Loupe.

Thomas Loupe_2.jpg

Presented by

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Technology

Just In