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2004 Total Eclipse
Triple Play Totality
The total lunar eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 was widely visible from the USA.
This trio of images captures the Moon at the beginning (right), middle (center) and end (left) of totality.
The composite was assembled from three separate exposures using Adobe Photoshop.
An AstroPhysics 105 EDT Refractor (4" F/6) and AP 2X Barlow produced a focal length of 1200mm.
The image was made with a Nikon D100 DSLR camera (4 seconds at f/12).
(click to see larger image)


Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 27-28

Photo Gallery Part A

©2004 by Fred Espenak. All rights reserved.

On the evening of 2004 October 27-28, a total eclipse of the Moon was visible from North and South America as well as Europe and Africa.From start to finish, the eclipse lasted over three and a half hours. The partial phase began as the Moon's eastern limb contacted the edge of Earth's dark umbral shadow.It took nearly 70 minutes for the Moon to move entirely within the umbra. The Moon took on a vivid reddish orange hue during the 81 minute long total phase. The unusual color was due to the feeble sunlight reaching the Moon which was filtered and bent by Earth's atmosphere.After totality ended, the partial phases repeated themselves in reverse order as the Moon slowly emerged from the shadow.

This eclipse diagram shows the geometry of the Moon's path through Earth's shadows as well as the times of each phase of the eclipse.For more details about the event, see the NASA web site Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 27-28 . To learn more about how and why lunar eclipses occur, visit Lunar Eclipses For Beginners. For information on upcoming eclipses of the Moon, see Lunar Eclipse Preview: 2001-2020.

I was fortunate to see and photograph this stunning event from my home in Dunkirk, Maryland. In spite of a gloomy weather forecast, we enjoyed clear sky for most of the evening. For complete details, see my 2004 lunar eclipse report.The gallery below offers a selection of photos taken of this colorful event.

For more photos, please visit: Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28: Photo Gallery Part B.




Click on each image to see a larger photo.

TLE2004seq1n
2004 Eclipse Sequence 1
(TLE2004seq1w)

2004 Eclipse Sequence 1 (TLE2004seq1w)

This Photoshop composition captures six partial phases of the eclipse before totality.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-004n
Full Moon
(TLE2004-004w)

Full Moon (TLE2004-004w)00:35 UT

Although the penumbral phase of the eclipse began 30 minutes earlier (00:06 UT), the first sign of the shadow is only now becoming visible as a slight shading of the eastern (left) edge on the bright winter Moon. About 43% of the Moon's disk now lies within the penumbra.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/250; 00:35 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-014n
Deep Penumbral Eclipse
(TLE2004-014w)

Deep Penumbral Eclipse (TLE2004-014w)01:12 UT

Although the partial eclipse is not due to begin for two minutes (01:14 UT), the penumbral shading is very apparent even to the unaided eye. The entire Moon is now within the penumbral shadow.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/350; 01:12 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-022n
Quarter Partial Eclipse
(TLE2004-022w)

Quarter Partial Eclipse (TLE2004-022w)01:30 UT

Nearly a quarter of the Moon's disk is within the umbra by 01:30 UT. To the unaided eye, I can begin to see the eastern edge of the Moon even though it is inside the umbra.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/350; 01:30 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-024n
Edge Revealed 1
(TLE2004-024w)

Edge Revealed 1 (TLE2004-024w)01:30 UT

Within seconds of the previous photo (TLE2004-022w), another image is taken using a long 1 second exposure. This grossly overexposes the uneclipsed Moon, but reveals the edge immersed within the umbral shadow. This is the first indication that the total eclipse will be a bright one.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1 sec; 01:30 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-034n
Half Partial Eclipse
(TLE2004-034w)

Half Partial Eclipse (TLE2004-034w)01:47 UT

About 47% on the Moon lies within the shadow at 01:47 UT.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/250; 01:47 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-035n
Edge Revealed 2
(TLE2004-035w)

Edge Revealed 2 (TLE2004-035w)01:47 UT

Within seconds of the previous image (TLE2004-034w), another long exposure is made to reveal the Moon's limb hidden within Earth's umbral shadow. I can begin to see a red glow to this region with the unaided eye. The view through the TeleVue Ranger (70mm refractor) is quite remarkable.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/2; 01:47 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-050n
Two-Thirds Partial Eclipse
(TLE2004-050w)

Two-Thirds Partial Eclipse (TLE2004-050w)02:03 UT

Just over 2/3 of the lunar disk is now inside the umbral shadow. The ambient light from the remaining crescent Moon is becomming feeble; the aid of a flashlight is now required to change camera settings.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/60; 02:03 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-052n
Edge Revealed 3
(TLE2004-052w)

Edge Revealed 3 (TLE2004-052w)02:03 UT

Once again a long exposure is used to capture the region of the Moon deep within the umbral shadow. The naked eye view resembles the appearance of a 4 day old crescent Moon bathed in the glow of strong Earthlight. However, Earthlight never looked so red. Simply fantastic!

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 2 sec; 02:03 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-060n
Magnitude 0.8 Eclipse
(TLE2004-060w)

Magnitude 0.8 Eclipse (TLE2004-060w)02:10 UT

With 80% of the Moon within the umbra, the sky is growing dark and the winter stars appear brighter. The bright, uneclipsed crescent presents the illusion that it belongs to a larger diameter Moon than the eclipsed portion.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/30; 02:10 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-063n
Fire Eclipse
(TLE2004-063w)

Fire Eclipse (TLE2004-063w)02:12 UT

Another long exposure reveals the entire Moon. A range of subtle shadings is now visible across the Moon's disk as each region samples a different depth into the umbral shadow. The uneclipsed crescent is dazzlingly bright in comparison.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 2 sec; 02:12 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-083n
Shrinking Crescent
(TLE2004-083w)

Shrinking Crescent (TLE2004-083w)02:19 UT

About 93% of the Moon's disk lies within the shadow as the remaining crescent continues to shrink. The ambient moonlight is now quite feeble compared to its full strength a little more than an hour ago.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 1/4; 02:19 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004-087n
Magnitude 0.95 Eclipse
(TLE2004-087w)

Magnitude 0.95 Eclipse (TLE2004-087w)02:20 UT

With only three minutes until the start of totality, the Moon appears as an orange-red orb with a bright rim along its western edge.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12, 2 sec; 02:20 UT
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak

TLE2004matrix1n
2004 Eclipse Matrix 1
(TLE2004matrix1w)

2004 Eclipse Matrix 1 (TLE2004matrix1w)

A Photoshop composition captures six partial phases of the eclipse along with the start (right), middle (center) and end (left) of totality.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2004 Oct 28 (Dunkirk, MD)
AstroPhysics 105mm Refractor + Nikon D100: ISO 400, f/12
Photo 2004 by Fred Espenak



Visit: 2004 Total Lunar Eclipse Gallery B

Visit: 2004 Total Lunar Eclipse Report



Lunar Eclipse Photographs

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Copyright Notice

All photographs, text and web pages are © Copyright 2007 by Fred Espenak, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or WWW, without written permission of the author. The photos have been digitally watermarked.

The photographs may be licensed for commercial, editorial, and educational use. Contact Espenak (at MrEclipse) for photo use in print, web, video, CD and all other media.

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Last revised: 2008 Feb 02