The super blood wolf moon of 2019

Thanks to a long and glorious history of missing major astronomical events, I didn’t get my hopes up when I heard about last night’s “super blood wolf moon.”

But guess what? For once I met all the criteria of (1) being awake, (2) occupying the right hemisphere, and (3) having clear skies. And here’s the result, as seen from my own back yard:

super wolf blood moon fb2

Sorry the actual blood moon turned out a bit blurry; it was only 3℉ (-16 Celsius), so by the end my hands were useless red stumps. Plus, the full eclipse made the moon almost too dark to photograph. But I learned from the experience, and will be better prepared for the next one in 2022. Fingers crossed I’ll again be awake, in the right spot, and under clear skies!

PS: Although last night’s eclipse was beautiful, my favorite photo of the moon remains this single frame, which I shot from the kitchen window of a little apartment Esteban and I rented in Venice. There’s something to be said for actively reducing light pollution and banning cars.

moon over venice 1630492 blog

73 comments

  1. Beautiful shots! I went to bed at 10, so saw it rise, but did not see the eclipse or the “blood.” This morning bella Luna was still stunning, resting on the housetops as I was driving to work. -4 here last night – you are so much braver than I to be out there! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • I’m so glad you were able to see the eclipse, if only through my photos! I didn’t have to work today, otherwise I would have been in bed by 10 too. Thank you as always for stopping by … and happy Monday to you!

  2. Absolutely awesome captures of the moon, Heide! You were lucky to have clear skies, it was cloudy in North Norfolk, not a chance for us to see this event. The amazing photo from Venice is outstandingly good, well done.
    I can well understand what temperatures like this do to your hands when out photographing. Recently I cam home with lots of blurred images due to ice cold fingers so now I have ordered “hot hands”, hope it helps.

    • Thank you for your kind words — quite an honor, coming from you! It’s too bad you had cloudy skies, though; hopefully you’ll have better luck in 2021. And great idea about the “hot hands.” Don’t know why i didn’t think of that, but i’ve added them to the mental list for next time. Thank you again foe stopping by!

    • Too bad about the clouds! And yes, a longer lens does help — even if i still can’t justify what it cost, since i use it only a couple of times per year (and it’s really too heavy to carry more often).

    • I’m sorry you had cloudy skies 😦 … but now i’m extra-pleased i braved the cold so you could still see it! Thank you for stopping by.

    • Thank you, Audrey! Someone once told me that the colder temperatures make for better viewing — so next time we’re outside freezing, we can at least comfort ourselves with that thought. So happy you got to see it too!

  3. I give you a full-on salute. I could not work up the enthusiasm to go outside in the bitter cold. There must be something wrong with me because I just cannot get enthusiastic about planetary events. I figured that someone would get decent pictures, and you did not disappoint!

    • There’s nothing wrong with you at all for having the good sense to stay warm and get a good night’s sleep, J.P. Quite the contrary! I salute YOU for not giving in to all the hype. Still … it was pretty cool, and now I can say I’ve howled at a super blood wolf moon. 😉

    • There was so much hype because it was a super moon (a bit closer to the earth than usual, thus the big size) and a blood moon (the reddish color that happened during the full eclipse) and a wolf moon (because that’s the traditional name for January’s full moon) … hence the funny-sounding name. But how wonderful that you got to see it, too! I saw it low along the horizon too and thought that was almost better than the eclipse.

    • Well … if I had to choose between a lunar eclipse and Buenos Aires, I would choose Argentina too! I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful visit, Paloma!

    • Thank you, Beth — as always! The discomfort was short-lived, thanks to my trusty heating pad. It made me feel lucky to live in an age when we have electricity and indoor heating, that’s for sure!

    • Thank you, Michael! I used my trusty Panasonic GX85 body and 100-300mm lens (which actually performs like a 200-600mm thanks to the 2X crop factor). That lens has so much reach it’s practically a telescope!

        • Actually, i couldn’t find my tripod (probably buried in a suitcase somewhere), so i had to either rest my camera on a railing or lean against a post. The nice thing about digital is that it doesn’t cost anything to discard all those blurry shots! 😉

          • OK…would not help much for the eclipsed Moon. The sidereal motion requires, in addition to a stable mount, a functioning clock drive of the mount to follow the motion (in addition the mount must be correctly oriented). This is important because of the longer exposure times required by the low light…not as much of an issue for the bright full moon.

          • Good point, Michael! I feel a bit better now for not having bothered with the tripod. The eclipse ran its course so gradually that I probably would have had time to manually reposition the camera between each shot — but then I would have had to stay out in the cold a lot longer! There’s always a compromise, isn’t there?

  4. Lovely photos. I have the same affliction of missing major astronomical events. Despite the favourable criteria, -16C would have been enough for me to stay inside the house and skip this. 🙂 PS There was no eclipse visible in Australia anyway this time.

  5. At dusk on the evening of the lunar eclipse we were driving down from a little rocky gorge and suddenly we gasped for over the trees we spotted the moon floating over a clear but faintly misty sky. It was so pretty. We didn’t get to see the actual eclipse, the mist was gathering locally between salt water and foothills and on top of that we’d had a long day of walking. It’s a nice feeling at least to view the eclipse through the eyes of a friend. Very neat frames, Heide. Hope you and Esteban are doing well.

    • Would it cheer you to know you probably saw the moon at its most beautiful anyway? I was leaving a gymnastics meet at sunset (when you have four nieces, you leave A LOT of gymnastics meets) and the moon was just above the horizon. I gasped, too — it was so bright, and so huge! By comparison, the eclipse was pretty subdued. Still … I’m honored to have shared a little bit of the night’s wonder with you. All is well here, and hope the same is true for you there! Thanks for stopping by, dear T-Fir.

  6. What a fantastic capture of that eclipse! I love the photos, Heide “) It was storming where I live, so no clear skies to see this one. The moon was still gorgeous and looming large on the horizon the following night, which was lovely – appreciate what you can where you can “) Thanks again!

  7. What amazing photos you managed to take with that lens! Your blood moon reminds me of a ripe ‘pèche de vigne’ which is a dark red… It certainly looked nothing like that in our parts. You are right: being awake and aware at the right time and the right place is a major convergence of positive factors. Glad you were able to capture it in all its majesty!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, M. It really was a lovely consolation for the *two times* I lugged that same enormous lens across the Atlantic for the same purpose, only to find cloudy skies in Paris (no surprise there, I suppose, ha ha). Thank you so much for stopping by!

  8. My hat! Your photos are best, which I have seen. Cold I know it very well. Last winter when I shot photos of reindeer race in Oulu, Finland, the weather was -19℃ / -2.20℉. The wind was 5 meters in second / 16.4 feet in second. This meant that the real feel on skin was -29℃ / -20.2℉. I was using my gloves and mittens. Immediately after shooting with gloves in my hands, I put gloves inside of my mittens. Even though I acted this way, my fingers felt cold. After one hour of shooting, the power of the battery began to decrease very much.

    Thank You for this post.

    • I can’t imagine standing outside for an entire reindeer race in the weather you described! My hat to you — for you are tougher than I am! I often wonder how our distant ancestors survived that, without waterproof clothing or indoor heating. In fact, that’s been on my mind a lot lately over the past few days as we are right now experiencing the coldest air we’ve had in 20 years. The air temperature (without wind) at this moment is -31℃. It’s literally breathtaking! Well … stay warm in your corner of the world. And thank you as always for your kind and interesting comments!

        • How wonderful that you’ll be returning to this incredible event! Maybe one year (if I’m very, very lucky) I’ll be able to join you. Thank you for MAKING my day wonderful with your kind comments!

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