The Supermoon Eclipse Up Close

October 9, 2015

On September 27, 2015 we were blessed with another 'Supermoon'.  While normally I don't get too worked up over these because;

1. They actually happen fairly frequently

2. The moon isn't really that much bigger.  The 30% they always talk about is the area.  What your brain is looking for is diameter which is only 14% bigger.  But it will be 30% brighter

September 27 was unique in that it coincided with an eclipse.  That made it interesting.

The next day there were lots of pictures on social media of the eclipse.  There was also a lot of complaining that pictures from smartphones didn't live up to expectations.  The problem was that no matter how many megapixels the current smartphones have, it's magnification that counts.  And not digital zoom, that's not real magnification. You are just cropping the picture and making the pixels bigger. 

So you need a lens.  I had my Pentax K-3 out that night to take advantage of the dark skies because of the eclipse to try to get preliminary shots of the Milky Way.  At the same time, I switched lenses to the DA 55-300mm and got some moon pictures.  The picture you see here is a composite of three images during the course of the eclipse, from partial to complete.  I decided it would be more meaningful to make a composite of the shots to get a sense of how things changed.  I should have started a little earlier to get a bigger difference, but I was concentrating on the Milky Way shots.