Penumbral Lunar eclipse 16.9.2016

Observed phenomena: Lunar eclipse
Type of eclipse: Penumbral Lunar eclipse
Type of observation: Positive
Date and time: 16.09.2016, 17:24-20:55 UT
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing conditions: Clear sky (1/8, only some clouds in southern horizon, but the clouds didn’t cause problems)
Observing instruments: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Telescope L80/400mm (3” refractor)

Penumbral Lunar eclipse of 16th of September 2016 was well visible from beginning to end in Turku, Finland. I was observing the event with Linda Laakso in Uittamo district of Turku.

This penumbral eclipse was deeper than the one in October of 2013. During this eclipse, the penumbral magnitude was 0,93 whereas in the eclipse of October 2013 it was only 0,79. The penumbra was obvious in photographs, and it was also weakly visible visually. Visually it became visible around 18 UT, about hour before maximum eclipse.

The penumbra was visible also through the finder of my camera (that was attached to my telescope), and through the finderscoope of the telescope and small binoculars. I also noted, that the penumbra was easier to observe through window glass, when the lights were on in the room. By doing this, window glass acted as a lunar filter and it helped to reduce the bright glare of the full Moon and to enhance contrast. In the photographs, the penumbra become also visible around 18 UT.

When photographing this event, I took the photos with exposure time of 1/160s (with ISO 100). I noticed, that most of the photos were overexposed, at least for the lower limb of the Moon. Nevertheless, I was able to enhance the contrast of the photos with Paint Shop Pro, and by doing so, to make the photos better. From this I got a reminder of the importance of using different exposure times when photographing the Moon or Lunar eclipses. It is possible then choose the best photos later.

But anyway, I’m happy and thankful for being able to witness this celestial event! The next event in the sky of Finland is in 11th of February 2017, and it’s going to be similar penumbral eclipse like this one.

Below you can see my photos from this penumbral eclipse:

Maximum eclipse @ 18:54 UT
A serie of photos demonstrating the progress of the eclipse. In the last photo, there were some Sc clouds in the sky partially obsuring the Moon, the clouds are visible as a darkening in the lower limb of the Moon.

Supermoon and anti-crepescular rays 23.6.2013

Observed phenomenae:  Anti-crepescular rays
Date: 23./24.6.2013
Time: 23:25-00:55
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing method: Photography
Technical information about photographing equipment: camera: Canon EOS 1100D, objective: Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS

While observing the so-called “Supermoon”, I observed also fine anti-crepescular ray, whic were rising from the southern horizon. And although there wasn’t actually anything “super” about the Moon now, it was still fun to watch!

Lunar sketching 20./21.2.2013

Date: 20./21.2.2013
Time: 20:15-20:45
Observing site: Aureskoski, Parkano, Finland
Instrument: L102/1000mm (4” Refractor)

NELM: 5,3
SQM: 19,09
Darkness of the background sky: 5
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 2
Weather: Clear sky, -3 °C, cold eastern breeze

Objects observed: Moon (Montes Jura and Sinus Iridum) (visual, sketching); R Tri (visual)

This time the sky got clear first time in many weeks! This winter, and especially February so far, has been record-breaking cloudy here in Finland! Last time it has been this cloudy in winter in 1987-88!

This time I went to observing to Sammalneva peat “mine” in Aureskoski, Parkano, Finland. Sammalneva is a place where organic peat is being harvested, or just simply dug from the peat bog to be used in many practical applications like producing fuel.

The place is a really good place also for doing astronomical observations. In this place, there is open horizon to every direction and no light pollution!

To my surprise, the road to this site was open, and actually there were two men transporting peat from the site to customers! I chatted with the men and showed them the Moon!

This time I observed the Moon, whose phase was about 76%. Also the Sinus Iridum and the Montes Jura were well visible in the terminator -region on the Moon, and I decided to sketch this wonderful region of the Moon! You can see a description of the sketch and the sketch itself a little bit downwards.

Sinus Iridum and Montes Jura
Sinus Iridum and Montes Jura

About the sketch: this sketch was made with graphitone pencil and HB pencil. After making the sketch outside, I just scanned it into my computer and enhanced the contrast of the sketch a little with Paint Shop Pro -graphics editor, and that’s it!

Besides lunar sketching, I also did my first variable star observation since autumn 2012! This time I observed star R Tri, which is still visible in the western sky in the evenings in this time of year.

Variable star observations:

Date                  Time               Star               Mag.               Comp.
21.2.2013          21.00             R Tri              8.2                  8.0/9.7

Sketching the Moon 29./30.11.2012

Date: 29.-30.11.2012
Time: 19:35-20:20
Observing site: Kuru, Ylöjärvi, Finland
Instrument: L102/1000mm

NELM: 5,0
SQM: 16,76
Darkness of the background sky: 5
Seeing: 4
Transparency: 2
Weather: Clear sky, -3 °C, cold eastern breeze, thin and discontinuous layer of snow on the ground

Objects observed: Moon (visual, sketching)

During this session nearly full Moon was shining in the eastern sky. I had already long time been planning to sketch the Moon, and now I tought, that this is the night for Moon sketching, and so I went out and sketched the Moon! 🙂 And because the Moon was shining and the lights of the Visitor Center (of the National Park) were on, there wouldn’t have been much anything elso to observe. So the Moon was good choice for that night!

The Moon (nearly full moon, 99%), sketched 29.11.2012 with L102/1000mm @ 25x in Seitseminen National Park, Finland
The Moon (nearly full moon, 99%), sketched 29.11.2012 with L102/1000mm @ 25x in Seitseminen National Park, Finland

About the sketch: basically the sketch was made with soft pencil (6B) on a tough piece of white cardboard. Besides pencil, I also used a soft graphitone pencil and a soft graphite stick to render the darker mare -areas of the Moon. I used an eraser to render the lighter details of the Moon. I used a paper stump to make the rendering a little bit softer. After making the sketch itself outside, I finished the sketch at my desk. Then I just scanned the sketch on my computer and enhanced the contrast of the scanned sketch and softened it a little bit more with a graphics editor.

31.7./1.8.2012 – testing my new catadioptric teleobjective with the Moon

Date: 31.7./1.8.2012
Time: 01:10-02:30
Observing site: Kuru, Ylöjärvi, Finland
Instrument: L102/1000mm (4” Refractor), camera: Canon EOS 1100D, lenses: Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS, Samyang 800 mm catadioptric-teleobjective,

NELM: 3,06
SQM: 17,36
Darkness of the background sky: 5
Seeing: 3
Transparency: 2
Weather: Mostly clear sky, light wind, +10 °C

Objects observed: T Cas (visual), Moon (photography)

During this session, Moon was shining at low altitude in the southern sky, and it partly was causing the lightness of the sky. The sky is still light because of summer here in the high latitudes.

During the early night I was photographing the Moon with my Canon EOS 1100D -camera for testing my new Samyang 8mm catadioptric teleobjective. For comparison, I also photographed the Moon through my L102/1000mm refractor. For more in-depth post about this, look here.

I also did one variable star observation, this time I observed star T Cas. I didn’t see any noctilucent clouds, but I won’t do a negative observation either because of the rather poor conditions.

Variable star observations:

Date Time Star Mag. Comp.
31.7./1.8.2012 01.35 T Cas 8.4 8.4/8.8