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Lunar Photography Contest 

Total Lunar Eclipse - January 20, 2000

Photo Gallery and Contest Entries

Click HERE to see winning entry.

Entry #1 by Calvin Hill

Entry #2 by Ryan Hannahoe

Entry #3 by Jose C. Borrero


Total Lunar Eclipse
January 20, 2000

On the evening of January 20, 2000, viewers in North America were able to observe a total eclipse of the moon. This was the best lunar eclipse visible from North America since 1996. The next good lunar eclipse visible from North America will not be until May 2003. 

The photographer of the winning photograph received a one year subscription to their choice of either Astronomy Magazine or Sky & Telescope Magazine, and a one year individual membership to the American Association of Amateur Astronomers. 

About the Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipses occur when the full moon passes through the Earth's shadow. Usually the full moon passes either north or south of the Earth's shadow in its monthly orbit around the Earth, and no eclipse occurs. When the moon skims the Earth's shadow, a partial lunar eclipse occurs. But on January 20, the moon will pass completely into the shadow of the Earth, producing a striking Total Lunar Eclipse.

Maximum eclipse occurs at 11:44 PM EST (8:44 PST) on the evening of January 20. The first contact of the moon with the Earth's shadow, resulting in the first visible touch of darkness on the moon's surface, occurs at 9:45 PM EST. The total phase of this eclipse ends at 12:22 AM on January 21, 2000.

Observers with telescopes and binoculars can watch as the edge of the Earth's shadow crosses individual craters on the surface of the moon. If you wish to photograph this eclipse, mount your 35-mm camera on a tripod and take scenic views with a red colored moon as part of your composition. Exposure times on ISO 200 film should be 1/60 second for partial phases at f/8, and 2 seconds at f/4 for the total phases. You may also photograph the eclipse through your telescope. Exposure times will depend on the exact setup of your equipment.

A lunar eclipse throws an eerie reddish color across the face of the moon. Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism, bending a little sunlight into the shadow and giving it a copper tint. In essence, what falls on the eclipsed moon is the light of all the sunsets and sunrises on Earth.

Ed Flaspoehler, Vice President
American Association of Amateur Astronomers

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