Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Total Lunar Eclipses - March 3 2007

March 3 2007, there was a total Lunar Eclipse viewable to most of the world. Here in central Ohio, totality occurred at Moonrise / Sunset about 6:16p local time. We expected to experience totality about 6 degrees just a little above the horizon followed by the return of the sun as the moon made its climb in the eastern sky. On the other hand, the good people of China on the opposite side of the world witnessed the first half of the eclipse at sunrise with the moon setting in the West. On August 28 2007 we will have that opposite situation during a second total lunar eclipse of the year. The eclipse in August will occur at Sunrise / Moonset and will be viewed in the western sky here in Central Ohio, and at sunset over in China. What made this eclipse a bit more interesting here was the fact that here in the Midwest USA we were socked in by clouds and light snow flurries. Any chance of getting a picture of it was slim to none, unless there was a miraculous momentary break in the overcast.

Long before we had any idea what the weather was going to be like for this event, Bill Kramer, the famed eclipse-chaser and I had made plans to photograph this eclipse. I had wanted to photograph it sitting nicely in the sky over a covered bridge in the area in the foreground. Alas, it did not look like the weather was going to cooperate with either of our plans. As sunset drew near, communications were established as we both watched the satellite images and weather radar looking for any hopeful indication, that there was a chance of a small hole between the two converging fronts moving through the area. Much to the surprise of our wives we decided to make a last minute dash.

At this point, I should note that MrBill normally does not chase Lunar eclipses. It is the Solar ones he travels around the world to photograph. But if we could by any chance appease the weather gods into providing us but a brief glimpse to capture. It was most likely going to be the only picture taken in Ohio or most likely the only one taken in the Midwest. So off we went, heading Southeast out of Columbus down State Route 23, and sure enough we found a small break in the two cloud layers. At a public rest area halfway between Columbus and Chillicothe we captured a few pictures. The cold wind, combined with the vibration of the trucks going by on teh highway did not help MrBills long lensed camera setup. I, on the other hand, captured two usable shots taken at full auto between wind gusts on my old Minolta Dimage 7hi. The high point of the event was when a young man pulled up and asked us what the cameras were for and we both pointed to the sky. We got a "Wow" as he pulled off to the other side of the rest area, where we noticed several others were standing in the lights of the service building pointing at the sky and then back at us, off away from the lights. Considering the news stories about rest area sexploits, I am not surprised that our presence at a rest stop with cameras on tripods with long lenses was not disturbing to some when we arrived and began setting up. Shortly after dropping me back off at my house, MrBill found himself blocked in by police and fire trucks. A walk around the block revealed; yet one more photo-op for the night ....

Who can resist a good car crash :-)
No one was seriously injured and it should be noted the two cars parked inside will need body work. It looked like the Mustang pulled out in front of the Camaro and got it's nose cut off. The then out of control red Camaro tried to push two cars out the back side of the garage. Sorry that picture did not come out, they had turned off the emergency lights by the time I got over to that side.


Rebecca said...

Love reading here. great work. very no boring like my bloggs..lol

Rebecca said...

you got a really nice picture of it. looks great..