Super Blood Moon Eclipse Mania! Definitely the End of the World! Woo!

I know the world is ending today, my darlings. You see, last night was a once-in-a-long-time astronomical event, in the fall, and it wasn’t cloudy or raining in Seattle. We had cloudless skies. That is a sure sign of the apocalypse right there.

S, his friend P, and I went down to Magnuson Park to view the thing. I mean, how could we not? Perfect view over Lake Washington! We got there right at dusk, and the next sign of the apocalypse happened: despite it being a hugely popular destination for super blood moon eclipse madness viewing, we found an actual parking space in the main lot.

There is an utterly lovely view of Mount Rainier from there. So of course I got you a photo!

Image shows Mount Rainier looming over Lake Washington in the dusk. The top of the sky is a delicate pink, shading to darker blues towards the bottom. In the foreground, a lot of people are gathered to watch the lunar eclipse.
Mount Rainier from Magnuson Park.

We even found a front-row seat at the edge of the lake, where we could sit on the bank and rest our feet on the beach. People, I have never had such a luxurious viewing position for an eclipse.

Totality was happening right at moonrise. At first, we couldn’t even spot the thing. Finally, S noticed a ghostly curve, and there she was – a super harvest blood eclipsed moon!

Image shows the opposite shore of Lake Washington, a long, low, wooded hill with buildings clustered mostly along the shore. The moon is a barely-visible ghost in the sky above.
Totality! 7:20 pm Pacific

You may have a hard time spotting it, so I’ve drawn some arrows pointing to it.

Same image as before, with four red arrows surrounding the moon.
Totality! With arrows!

Look at how lovely all that is! Sure, we can barely see the eclipsed moon, but the pretty lake and the dudes in the kayak and the twinkly lights of Kirkland, all with an eclipse overhead! Sweet. You can even see one of the Cascade peaks poking up over the shoulder of the hill there.

This is only four minutes later, but you can actually see the moon a bit better in this shot.

Same scene as the above, except the whole round face of the Moon is visible. It's nearly transparent appearing, and is a faint orange.
Moar totality! 7:24 pm Pacific.

There was some haze on the horizon, but I’m not complaining. I didn’t think we’d get to see this at all. Of course, S was sitting there randomly popping out with, “Hey, I have a telescope upstairs” and “Guess I shoulda brought the binoculars.” Sigh. We should have actually planned this when we realized the weather would be clear.

As it grew darker, you could see the orange hue better.

Same view across the lake. The sky has darkened, and the moon is a darker orange. One sliver in the bottom right is brighter than the rest.
Getting to be a blood moon thar! 7:30 pm Pacific.

The sky grew progressively darker, letting the eclipsed moon – well, I guess not exactly shine, but at least pop a little.

The sky is a navy blue, and the moon is sharper and clearer against it.
Totality at 7:38 pm Pacific.

When darkness fell, the Moon became a far brighter orange.

The sky is now black. Lights from the city cast glitter trails on the water. Above, the moon is a deep orange, brighter on the bottom than the top.
Totality in darkness! 8:00 pm Pacific.

Nifty! And while we watched the Moon rise and the eclipse continue, I got to talk to a couple of awesome 6th grade girls. One has a rock collection, and the other wants to be a marine biologist. I’m glad they got to see this awesome astronomical event, too! Hopefully it’ll keep them loving science for a lifetime.

My companions grew tired and restless just as totality was ending. I did get another lovely shot from the parking lot, probably the best of all:

Image is just the Moon. There is a sliver of bright light where the bottom edge is beginning to emerge from Earth's shadow. The rest is still shadowed, but no longer so orange. It gets darker toward the top right, and fades into the night sky.
Totality ends. 8:19 pm Pacific

That is not bad for an elderly point-and-shoot digital camera without a tripod, held in the trembling hands of a woman on asthma tablets.

We were home soon enough for me to go view the rest of the eclipse, and I was able to break out my binoculars to watch the last sliver of Earth shadow slip off the Moon’s face. Pretty neato! I took lots of photos, but they’re kind of overpowered by the sunlight reflecting from the lunar surface. I haven’t got a great setup for photographing really bright things. My camera’s more of a low light champion.

Of course, people with proper equipment and filters and such got much better images. You should head over to Geotripper’s place next. He got a great series!

So that was a lovely nice time. I’m sorry so many of you got rain and clouds. But if the world doesn’t end later today, we’ll have another opportunity at a super moon eclipse in a mere 18 years. In the mean time, you can go snicker at end-of-the-world-is-definitely-upon-us Pastor John Hagee getting flummoxed by a fellow super-devout Christian who calmly points out that there’s a tiny flaw in his scheme.

Enjoy the apocalypse!

Super Blood Moon Eclipse Mania! Definitely the End of the World! Woo!

6 thoughts on “Super Blood Moon Eclipse Mania! Definitely the End of the World! Woo!

  1. 1

    Another apocalypse? isn’t that like the third this year and about the tenth in the last five or so including 2012’s movie Mayan madness?

    Great shots of the lunar eclipse there too – thanks. Wrong hemisphere for us in Oz this time. I’m just gonna have to console myself by going outside and looking at Canopus, Alpha Centauri and its more distant but almost as bright Beta Cen partner, the Southern Cross they point to, the larger False Cross asterism the Magellanic Clouds, Omega Centauri, 47 Tucane .. Oh & then maybe after a brief nap (long day at work, early hours of the morning my time) seeing what the fuss is about with that big NASA announcement here :

    About T minus eight hours or so approx from now or so I gather. (I could well be mistaken about that – first approximation estimate.)

  2. 2

    Another apocalypse? isn’t that like the third this year and about the tenth in the last five or so including 2012’s movie Mayan madness?

    Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang are still hard at work. ;)

  3. 5

    Here in northern Illinois it was partly cloudy with more and more dense clouds coming in as the eclipse proceeded. Just as it was reaching maximum coverage, the clouds covered it up completely. Hopefully I’ll have better luck in 2033.

    Here’s the best I could grab from this one as the clouds parted for a few seconds.

  4. 6

    My middle kids were so excited to see the moon, and disappointed when informed that the cloud layer covering our area won’t be gone until late this week. Another 18 years it is. Boo.

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