Turned out to be very clear skies on Wednesday, night of the Super Blue Moon (which in other parts of the world was a very rare Super Blue Blood Moon). I dont get why a “Blue Moon” is such a big deal though, just because its the second in a month…and I suspect that’s only because of Julius and Augustus added those two extra months? Super moon, is more exciting if a bit misleading in its apparant size effect. When I first saw Spielberg’s ET, I waited long for the next time our Moon gets 10km away from us but it never did.
But anyway, an event is an event, and a good excuse to finally dust off the camera and get in groove with astrophotography again. To be honest, its only thanks to one of our Flamsteed committee member to make the initiative and I gladly followed, albeit with a sudden rush. We didnt plan properly though, it was sort of spontaneous. Tbh we did talk of making a trip somewhere a few days before but I totally forgot. So we rode out West while I checked google for a good spot on the way on the A4. I found a landmark called Osterley House which was opened until 6:30pm to be a good candidate for a Moonrise target. Looking at google earth view, it seemed to sport a good position angle. So we parked up and walked into Osterley Park with our equipment only to find that access to the gardens of the House we needed was closed off at 3:30pm. So we literally set up in the Car Park and just settled for it rising above whatever, even a public toilet if that’s where it chooses!
So in my timelapse, you’ll see I missed the initial part of the rise because we didnt have time to calculate its exact position and ended up shifting our rigs when we did spot it. So in my shoot, it rose above someone’s house. If it happens to be yours, its a lovely house, sorry I spied on it!
Thought I do something different with this moonrise this time, and use my Nexstar Tracking mount to track on the moon with the earth moving away. Not sure if its a good effect but worth an experiment. As I accumulate different moonrises, I could assemble them all together in one video, so at least this “moon tracked” one would give it variety. I describe fully how I do the timelapse in the video description.
But yet again, the best part of the evening was the welcome company of young student passersby who took interest in what we were doing and saw my Moonrise capture live on my laptop which I have tethered to my camera. So I had fun explaining to them about the Super Blue Moon event and why the moon has such a different colour on the horizon. In fact I abandoned my moon photography (I had inteneded to continue shooting its climb on another camera with wide angle lens), took the camera off my refractor, slot in my Zoom eyepiece and entertained them to views of the moon directly. I couldnt zoom in on craters as it was only an 80mm refractor but they seemed to enjoy the view, nevertheless.
So had an enjoyable Super Blue Moon evening. Hope you all looked up too, as most of England had really clear skies that night.
Nexstar Tracking mount works well, Tej. Great timelapse! Sounds like you had a lovely evening.
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