Last night we were treated to a lunar eclipse here in Nara, Japan (and elsewhere in the world, assuming you had clear skies). As it's the harvest season here with very much a feeling of Autumn in the air, the majestic orange tint of the moon seen just above the trees lining our house seemed very fitting to the season. As you know, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth and into its shadow or umbra. The orange Moon or "blood Moon" is really something to behold. But why does the Moon turn red/orange? It's a simple phenomenon and it's explained clearly and visually in this video presentation by our friends at NASA (below).
Capturing the mood
Below are a few images I snapped outside an upstairs bedroom window at home about 8:10 PM Japan time last night. No filters or editing at all, and yet that is one intensely orange Moon. Beautiful. Before science, imagine what kind of super natural explanations one could have come up with to scare the pants (or loin cloths) off of people. We use the term "awesome" too much in daily conversation, but this gorgeous Moon was a truly awesome sight.
(click images for larger size). The snaps are from my old Nikon D90. But I was too lazy to find my tripod, so I balanced the camera on the window ledge upstairs. That was steady (sort of). But pushing the shutter with my finger was still enough to get a bit of a blur, but I did not mind as I rather like the effect of the imperfection. Besides, my father in-law—an amateur astronomer—was taking much better photos with his high-tech telescopes down the street.
• Fantastic shots from last night's eclipse on Flickr