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Lunar Photography Contest

Total Lunar Eclipse
January 20, 2000

On the evening of January 20, 2000, viewers in North America will be able to observe a total eclipse of the moon. This will be 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 American Association of Amateur Astronomers is looking for the best photograph of the Lunar Eclipse of January 20-21, 2000. The photograph may be either color or black and white. You do not need to be a member of the AAAA to enter.

Submit your photograph via e-mail as an attached JPG file or GIF file no larger than 400x600 pixels to our e-mail address at skyglance@aol.com.   Or you may send a regular print to be scanned, to our postal address: AAAA, P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981. Be sure to include your name, telephone number, address, and email address along with your entry. Please, only one entry per person. 

All entries must be received no later than February 26th, 2000. All entries will be judged by the board of the American Association of Amateur Astronomers. The winning entry will be selected by March 1, 2000, the winner will be notified, and the winning entry will be posted on the Internet.

Rights to all photographs will remain the property of their original owners, even though by submitting an entry you grant full permission to the American Association of Amateur Astronomers to display it on our website at www.astromax.org and to print it in our newsletter, The American Astronomer. 

The person whose photograph is selected as the winning entry will win a one year subscription to either Astronomy Magazine or Sky & Telescope Magazine, and a one year individual membership to the American Association of Amateur Astronomers. 

Submit your photographs to AAAA Vice-President and Webmaster Ed Flaspoehler at our e-mail address skyglance@aol.com. Or send a regular print to be scanned to our postal address: AAAA, P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981.

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

Links to Lunar Eclipse Web Pages

The following web pages may be of interest to help you find out more about the Lunar Eclipse.

Sky & Telescope Web Page on the Lunar Eclipse:

Fred Espenak's Eclipse Home Page:

How to Photograph an Eclipse:

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