(ORDO NEWS) — We’ve seen some great pictures of a total lunar eclipse this week. But this one can surpass all the others.
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy created this incredible composite image showing the Moon in various stages of a nighttime eclipse.
“Size and shape Earth’s shadow is clearly visible here,” McCarthy tweeted. “These events look absolutely magical and completely surreal.”
McCarthy witnessed and photographed the entire eclipse from his Arizona backyard. Aside from the noticeable “patch” shape of the image, if you look closely, you can see exactly how the Moon moved through the Earth’s shadow during the eclipse.
Another striking thing about this composite is how clear, crisp and detailed each image of the moon is. How did McCarthy do it?
My finished shot from the total lunar eclipse this morning.
This image was taken using two telescopes, one to capture the intricate details of the lunar surface and the other to capture the rich tones cast by the Earth’s shadow on the disk.
Come on, turn it up! said Andrew McCarthy.
“In total, I took about 150,000 images. ” McCarthy told Universe Today. “My strategy was to first take photos using my c11 at native 2800mm with a fast but tiny asi174mm sensor. The moon was sewn together with incredible detail.”
McCarthy said he did it three times a night. He then used his Sony a7ii camera mounted on an 8-inch Celestron EdgeHD800 telescope with a 2,000mm focal length to capture the entire moon in high resolution with each shot, taking about 500 photos per night.
These images were then combined with a previously taken high resolution photograph of the moon to provide incredible detail to create the final composite, which was assembled in Photoshop from these images.
McCarthy calls the photo “Shadows and Sunsets” because during a total lunar eclipse, the Moon shines with all the colors of sunrises and sunsets that occur on Earth.
The moon appears reddish because the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs other colors and refracts some of the sunlight towards the moon. Sunlight penetrating the atmosphere and absorbing other colors is also why the sunsets we see here on Earth are often orange and red.
Prints of this image are available in limited quantities from McCarthy’s website.
“The full size image is almost 190 megapixels, so it’s insanely detailed and can be printed at huge sizes without losing detail!” McCarthy tweeted.
Support McCarthy on Patreon to download high resolution versions of his photos. He said he knew the hobby was expensive and required equipment to enhance my images.
Composite image of the morning eclipse showing the moon in various phases during the night.
Here you can clearly see the size and shape of the Earth’s shadow.
These events are absolutely magical to witness and quite surreal, said Andrew McCarthy.
“However, as I delved deeper into this hobby, it became obvious that this was my calling, so I rely on my patrons to support me when I start doing this on a full-time basis,” he says on his website.
McCarthy said he bought his first telescope in 2017 and became passionate about observation and astrophotography, saying his mission now is to “connect people to the universe and inspire a new generation of celestial explorers.”
He even went into a new state to better see the night sky.
“Making sure I can continuously shoot events like this is one of the reasons I recently moved to Arizona,” McCarthy explained.
“I built a simple observatory in my backyard. which has two permanent piers inside, allowing me to operate the equipment safely all night and close easily at dawn (or in bad weather). throughout the country if the weather is not favourable.
McCarthy has created a great Twitter thread answering his most frequently asked questions and suggesting what gear is needed for the type of astrophotography he does.
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