Orange and red colors glimmered across the lunar surface the evening of Sunday (Jan. 20) and overnight into the early morning hours of Monday (Jan. 21) as the moon passed through Earth's shadow in the only total lunar eclipse of 2019. Photographer Jonathan Talbot captured the surreal celestial event from Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
"I shot one image every minute from the beginning of the eclipse phase until the end and ended up with 212 usable shots," Talbot wrote to Space.com in a video description. [Amazing Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon of 2019!]
The whole video has a "Wizard of Oz" feel to it — the footage starts off with a black-and-white moon as it eerily passes through Earth's deepest shadow, the umbra. And then, with a technicolor awakening as the moon fully enters the umbra, vibrant copperish colors pop out. There's also an exciting plot twist to watch for: in the lower left part of the screen, you can watch a meteor hitting the moon!
Talbot used a Canon 6D camera with a Stellarvue SV80S refractor on an AstroTrac (a tracking mount). But with all that gear in place, the shoot was still no walk in the park.
"The hard part was adjusting exposure time and ISO right at the transition from the bright limb of the moon to full eclipse," said Talbot. He preprocessed the images in Adobe Lightroom, and the video was then stitched together with the software Time Lapse Assembler.
This weekend's event is the last total lunar eclipse until 2021. People all throughout North and South America, including parts of the Caribbean and Europe, caught the sight. But later this year there will be a partial lunar eclipse. It will be visible to those observing from Africa and the Middle East.
The United States will also be in the right spot to catch Mercury transiting (passing in front of) the sun, on Nov. 11. After that date, observers in the U.S. will not see this spectacle again until 2049.