View Full Version : The November Lunar Eclipse from Lewisberry, PA

Dave Mitsky
2003-Nov-10, 03:15 PM
I observed Saturday evening's lunar eclipse from the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg's Naylor Observatory through a number of instruments including the ASH 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain, a 10" f/10 Meade SCT, the 5" f/5 finder scope for the 17", my 101mm f/5.4 Tele Vue refractor, a Celestron 80mm f/5 refractor, a Celestron 20x80 binocular, and a Celestron Ultima 10x50 binocular. Many other telescopes were in use such as the ASH 12.5" f/6.5 and 10" f/7 Cave Newtonians. I took afocal shots through the 5" and my scope with a Canon digital camera and eyepiece projection shots through the 5" with my Pentax K1000 SLR and a 32mm Brandon.

We had clear skies for most of the event. Clouds encroached during the partial phase but were gone before totality began. Temperatures dropped to the mid-thirties.

To my eyes the moon was a pinkish orange hue during totality with a bit of brightness at the southern limb, perhaps an L of 3 on the Danjon Scale. During totality I showed some of the onlookers M45, the Double Cluster, and Stock 2.

There were at least 100 visitors and many ASH members present. Two of the local television stations did broadcasts from the observatory. A reporter from the Harrisburg Patriot interviewed me as well as several other ASH members.

All in all it was a most enjoyable evening.

Dave Mitsky

2003-Nov-10, 11:32 PM
I watched the eclipse in Larose, La (60 miles SSW from New Orleans), in my friend's back yard. There were seven of us and we watched the entire thing.
I had a small telescope, but found that binoculars were the best choice.
The sky was absolutely clear and the moon became orange, so much so that a friend said it looked like a navel orange.
It was by far the most impressive lunar eclipse that I've ever seen.
Of course like most Cajuns, we had to make a party out of everything, so we had an eclipse party, with lots of Gumbo, roasted duck, ect... and of course a little wine! ;)

Dave Mitsky
2003-Nov-11, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by jimmy@Nov 10 2003, 11:32 PM

Of course like most Cajuns, we had to make a party out of everything, so we had an eclipse party, with lots of Gumbo, roasted duck, ect... and of course a little wine! ;)
That sounds like one very tasty lunar eclipse, Jimmy. :)

As far as appreciating the color of a lunar eclipse is concerned a small telescope or a binocular is the best instrument to use. The views through my Tele Vue refractor at very low power (13 and 15x) and the 20x80 Celestrons were quite good indeed that night.

Dave Mitsky

2003-Nov-12, 03:14 PM
Yeah, it was really a great time.
But Dave, are we the only two in the Universe Today family who caw that magnificent eclipse??? I can't believe thaat there aren't a hundred entries!!

2003-Nov-12, 10:23 PM
I sure wanted to see it, however it was so cloudy and foggy that I saw no hint of the moon at all that night.

2003-Nov-13, 04:59 AM
I saw the eclipse too - purely by chance...

I landed at Dallas / Fort Worth on Saturday at about half past four and the cloud cover was so dense and low that I swear, the only way I knew we were near the ground was because I saw the flaps move on the wings and heard the under-carriage went down. We were only about 150 feet off the ground when we broke through the cloud layer and I thought I didn't have a chance of seeing the eclipse that night.

Anyway, my flight to Oklahoma was due to take off at 6:15pm - it's slated to take an hour, but in reality you only spend 40 minutes in the air. I didn't think we'd clear the clouds so when we took off (late) at about 6:30pm, I just shut my eyes and dozed off.

I was woken by an announcement over the tannoy to say we'd reach our altitude of 10,000 feet and that if anyone on the right-hand side of the plane was interested, you could see the lunar eclipse through the window.

Lucky me was on the right side *and* had a window seat and since we were 10,000 feet up, above the clouds, the sky was crystal clear and the Moon was quite beautiful.

It appeared a coppery colour, but on the south-western edge there was a thin sliver of white light where the Moon had yet to enter the Earth's shadow. I had my nose pressed against the window for some time... even when I wasn't, I'd look back every 5 or 10 minutes to see that white sliver slowly disappearing :-)

We started our descent at about 7:05pm and the last I saw of the Moon, it was just about to enter totality. It's been a few years since I'd seen a lunar eclipse and I'm certainly glad I was in the right place, at the right time and on the right side of the plane to witness this one!! :D