Published Date: January 25, 2019
Hi everyone. Here are some more pictures from the Total Lunar Eclipse last week. All of them are just exactly as photographed, no editing of any kind.
Feel free to use them in any way you wish — they are not copyrighted — these pictures are a cause for celebration of our Great God who designed that we should have amazing eclipses to watch!
Eclipse stage 1 is almost complete:
The picture above is the first one I took. Now you might think that nothing is happening, but the the eclipse has actually been going on for over an hour when this picture was taken! It is called a “penumbral” eclipse. Look that the bottom of the moon and you will see the moon is just a little bit darker down there. In our 2015 book Israel FIRST!, we have a lot to say about penumbral eclipses, but essentially, an eclipse that “only reaches the penumbral phase and never goes any further” is pretty much a “non-eclipse” in my book. This is what was so frustrating for me when a preacher came out after the Four Blood Moons had finished, and started talking about “The Fifth Blood Moon” in Spring of 2016. All it was, was a penumbral eclipse, that wasn’t even as dark as the one shown above! That is just pure marketing click-bait if you ask me. The picture I show above is the darkest a penumbral eclipse can ever get, and 99% of the world would never notice a thing. That said, I think the subtlety of a penumbral eclipse is beautiful. There are many of you that spot emerging trends and see things that God is doing before other people even notice. Maybe God honors people like you with this phase of a lunar eclipse.
Eclipse stage 2 begins:
OK, everybody would now say that something is happening. The penumbral phase is over and the darkest part of the earth’s shadow, the umbra is now beginning to slide across the face of the moon. Technically, the moon is moving eastward into the shadow, but it is hard to notice because the turning of the earth each day makes the moon looks like it is mainly moving westward. (Not sure that is clear to all of you, but don’t worry it’s not that important and I won’t mention it again).
Phase 2 continues:
The shadow continues to move across the moon. Another name for this kind of eclipse is a “partial eclipse”.
Partial eclipse still underway:
In this picture the shadow has moved over about 90% of the moon. I increased the exposure on this one so that we can start to see the reddish color of the moon emerging
Here is another one:
Perhaps about 95% covered now.
Maybe 98% covered?
Eclipse Stage 3 begins:
It is really hard for anyone to tell visually when the shadow reaches exactly 100%. That is because the shadow on the face of the moon is not a sharp black line. I think this is probably similar to the fact that on earth the sun does not “set” instantaneously, but takes about 4 minutes to set and it moves below the horizon. I think that one of the lessons we can take from this, is that when God moves us from one season to another there is a transition phase. Yes, we might wake up one morning with a sense that “something new is coming” but it rarely happens that everything changes immediately, but often over a period of weeks or months. I think that this is God’s mercy because change is hard, and we need time to absorb the consequences of change. And yet, when a year or more has passed, you look back and say to yourself, “wow, that was quite change”.
Total Eclipse continues:
This is one of my favorites. The fact that the moon is fully eclipsed means that I can take a longer exposure to bring out the colors. In so doing, some stars start to become visible. Do you see that star right near the moon at about 7 o’clock? The moon is going to “pass over” that star soon, proving that the moon is actually moving East against the background stars, even as it rises higher and higher in the sky during the eclipse.
Wider angle picture:
Now that I noticed that stars were visible, I took a wider angle view to pick up a few more stars.
More stars still:
I took an even longer exposure to draw out the stars even better. This reminds me of the Word of God: when we study a single passage of a long period of time, we keep seeing more and more gems/stars in it, more context, more beauty.
What the eclipse really looks like:
This wide angle shot shows the trees in my backyard. You will now see that I was dealing with light clouds for most of the eclipse. God made our eyes better than what is shown in this picture, because our eyes are simultaneously able to see the big picture (including the trees), as well as we can see more detail on the face of the moon than is showed in this picture. Only with photoshop techniques can a photographer begin to come close to match the power of the human eye. But all these pictures are straight out of the camera.
My best picture:
This is my highest magnification picture. I also cropped it which makes the moon appear larger than the other pictures. As I look at this picture I am so amazed at how it came out. It honest looks 3-D to me. Do you agree?
This picture is also reminiscent of what the moon actually looked like with the unaided eye, but a little brighter than the reality. The actual look of the moon was a bit ghostly which I’m sure as inspired fear in peoples around the world for thousands of years. However, we who know the scriptures know Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Indeed, if we rely on GOD for our shelter rather than trying to rely on ourselves, God says he will respond in kind by giving us “rest” within His shadow. God created this eclipse! God created this shadow! There is nothing to fear, but there is everything to increase our awe.
I heard it said that living in the “awe” of God is the most healthy way to live.
Final picture and Darkest part of the Eclipse:
The moon is how as deep into the shadow of the earth as it is going to get on this particular lunar eclipse. The moon at about 4 o’clock show the deepest part of the shadow.
Speaking of shelter of the Most High it is now time for me to go back inside and seek some shelter of my own.
Camera: Lumix GH-5.
Lens: Lumix Vario 100-300mm zoom, f4.0-5.6 (except for wide angle shots).
Image editing: none