Can you say that five times fast? And did you know that last night’s Super Blood Moon was also a Harvest Moon? Apparently, a “Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse” just isn’t enough…
“On the evening of September 27, three separate lunar events converge. The total eclipse coincides with the full moon nearest the fall equinox, known as the harvest moon. What’s more, the moon is at its closest approach to Earth for the year, making it also a supermoon or perigee moon. That’s why it’s being coined by some as a Super Harvest Blood Moon—a mouthful to be sure.” – Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic
NASA had the world ready and waiting for a Super Moon Lunar Eclipse, “Coming soon for the first time in more than 30 years: you’ll be able to witness a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse.” – NASA
I was a Junior in High school when the last one occurred in 1982, and will be a spry something or other 18 years from now when it happens again in 2033.
While all of the scientific information is fascinating, as a visual person I was more intrigued with the idea of seeing and photographing a red moon, combined with a lunar eclipse (which I had never actually witnessed). Friends sent emails and texts reminding me of the event, which wasn’t going to happen until after 10pm, throughout the day yesterday. One friend sent a wonderful link to a NASA sight with tips on the best places to be to photograph the event, etc… To say my mind was on the moon would be an understatement, but since we were having dinner at my in-laws that night I wasn’t going to stress about a location… until this happened.
Prior proper planning, sadly, is not something I personally can brag about. While running around the yard taking pictures of my 2 year old niece, I hear calls from my husband saying “Hey, you’re missing the Super Moon!”.
I ran over to see what he was talking about, and saw this.
Exhale… I had totally forgotten about, and missed, the moonrise…
Sadly, my lens of choice was packed up at home waiting for my date with the Blood Moon Eclipse. I ran down to the water anyway to made an effort with what I had (note to self: “smarten up, kid”).
As we sat outside after dinner, talk of taking a walk along the beach was thrown around as family members discussed where they were going to watch the big event. We still had about an hour to go before things started taking shape up there, and I was still uncertain of my photoshoot destination. One of the tips from NASA’s Sr. Photographer Bill Ingalls was to always photograph an event like this in reference to a land based object. The dreaded three P’s surface once again… prior proper planning. I started to panic about my own plans, as I really wanted to be able to capture something special. The city would be perfect, but it was getting late and by the time arrived I might miss it completely. One of our many beautiful bridges would be incredible, but that was more suited for the moonrise. The moon was still a magnificent bright white light with a few clouds milling around. I looked up at one point and notched a blotchy shadow start to take form which I thought was just cloud based, but then realized it was clearly “the beginning”. Ever watch “Bewitched”? I gave Samantha a run for her money as I disappeared faster then a twitch of a nose.
I stayed the speed limit, and my plans for where I was going to shoot became evidently clear.
Car engine off, grab camera gear, open back door, set up camera, done.
The good news is that I now I have 18 years to plan the most spectacular “land based” shot of a lifetime, but for now I’ll happily settle with these feeling lucky enough to have witnessed such an incredible event. Truly spectacular, and ever so humbling…
P.S. I’m incredibly thankful to Facebook friends who, unbeknownst to me, went to sleep confident that I’d come up with something to view in the morning. Love you all to the moon and back. xo
P.S.S. When I woke up this morning, look what I found lying on my bed… explain that one NASA experts. 🙂
(if you’re visiting this blog for the first time, you will understand the significance of this by seeing some of other posts).