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!
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!
You may have a hard time spotting it, so I’ve drawn some arrows pointing to it.
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.
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.
The sky grew progressively darker, letting the eclipsed moon – well, I guess not exactly shine, but at least pop a little.
When darkness fell, the Moon became a far brighter orange.
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:
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!