Past Meetup

Catch a Total Lunar Eclipse

Hosted by Star Circle Academy

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Airplane crosses a partially eclipsed moon (

On the evening of the 14th the Moon will be full and eclipsed by the earth. The maximum (midpoint) of the total eclipse occurs just before midnight on the west coast - about two AM on the East coast. Here is a list of times for the Eclipse in PDT and EDT. The eclipse will not be visible to those in Europe.

• 8:53 PM PDT / 11:53 PM EDT Penumbral Eclipse Begins

• 9:58 PM PDT / 12:58 AM EDT Partial Eclipse Begins

• 11:06 PM PDT / 02:06 AM EDT Total Eclipse Begins

• 11:45 PM PDT / 02:45 AM EDT Greatest Eclipse

• 12:24 AM PDT / 03:24 AM EDT Total Eclipse Ends

• 1:33 AM PDT / 04:33 AM EDT Partial Eclipse Ends

• 2:37 AM PDT / 05:37 AM EDT Penumbral Eclipse Ends


Because the moon will be almost directly overhead for those in the whole of the continental US, it will be very difficult to get anything BUT the moon in the shot during totality. Moreover, if you can compose the shot in a way to get something else in it (like looking up from the base of a tall building), your foreground is likely to be way out of focus and the moon will appear small. THEREFORE we at recommend the following course of action:

Get your largest Telephoto lens and/or Telescope and attempt to capture the moon alone. How large? Anything up to 2000 mm, but preferably larger than 100mm. The good news is that totality lasts quite long - about an hour and a half so you have plenty of time to takes shots while waiting for clouds to drift through or away.

Thin clouds make a halo around a totally eclipsed moon (

What Settings?

A normal moon exposure to get detail is on the order of f/9, ISO 200, 1/100th of a second, however the ECLIPSED moon will require much higher ISO and a longer exposure which may result in some smearing of lunar details. What settings? f/5.6, ISO 1000, 2 seconds

Creative Ideas To Consider

Using a wider lens, you can attempt to capture the moon as it enters and/or exits totality. Take shots every 2 minutes (or more frequently) and you can then combine them to form a sequence like this.

See the articles ( here ( and here ( These shots of the sun were taken about every 30 seconds, but I only combined shots that were taken four minutes apart.

Sequence of an Annular Solar Eclipse (