Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Total Lunar Eclipse

Viewing celestial events in these parts is an iffy proposition any time of year. The forecast for Sunday evening was “partly cloudy” as usual, so we didn’t know until the total lunar eclipse began whether we’d see it or not.

The first time I sketched a lunar eclipse was in September 2015, which started earlier in the evening when it was much warmer, so we viewed it from our neighborhood park. On Sunday night the temperature was in the high 30s, so I opted to view and sketch it from our cozy bedroom window. (Greg, unfortunately, had to stand outside to photograph it! See photo at end of post.)

Clouds skittered around during the early part of the eclipse, so I didn’t start sketching until 8:21 p.m., shortly before totality. At first I wasn’t sure if the clouds would return at any time, so I hastily drew a few simple diagrams as I did during the solar eclipse in 2017. By the time totality began at 8:42 p.m., I could see that the sky would probably remain clear around the moon, so I relaxed and got out my black Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook and colored pencils.

After totality was reached, I kept thinking the moon would appear consistently dark all over, but I saw a faint halo on one side throughout.

Totality ended at 9:43 p.m. My last sketch at 9:47 p.m. shows the first glint of the full moon’s normally bright light just beginning to appear again.

1/20/19 Photo by Greg Mullin

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