Total Eclipse Totally Excellent

The totally eclipsed moon hovers over the Duluth-Superior harbor during morning twilight Wednesday (Jan. 31). Bob King

It just cleared off in time here in northern Minnesota for the this morning’s total lunar eclipse. Clouds at 5 a.m., breakup at 5:30 and in the clear at 5:45. What a stately event the eclipse was. My friends and I watched from the bay side of Lake Superior in steady 20-30 mph winds with snow snaking across the ice, but up above the moon silently and effortlessly eased into Earth’s shadow like it was slipping into a hot bath.

Huddled against the cold, friends and students watch the moon in total eclipse earlier this morning. Bob King

I was surprised at how long we were able to follow the moon into totality. One in our group kept it in naked eye view until 7:11 a.m. when it was just 3° high. I last spotted it in binoculars 2 minutes later. The moon’s color was a fine burnt-orange-red. Since the darker, sea-rich half of the moon was closer to the center of Earth’s umbral shadow, it looked really dark. The opposite side, further from the center and lighter-toned was easier to see.

The penumbral shadow was very obvious over the top third of the moon around 5:30 about 20 minutes before the partial eclipse began. 400mm lens, f/5.6, 1/500″ at about f/9. Bob King

Despite the winds the eclipse was simply stunning and the camaraderie kept us all a little warmer. I hope you had the pleasure of seeing it. More photos coming!



The totally eclipsed moon hovers over Duluth, Minn. landmark Enger Tower at dawn Wednesday. Tom Nelson
The moon just after totality in deep partial eclipse seen from Australia. Dean Hooper
The scene Wednesday morning taking photos of the eclipse at the Duluth-Superior Harbor Basin in Duluth, Minn. Mike Sangster
We can’t forget the partial phases! This from Sheila Belland
Eclectic and well-dressed eclipse watchers: Jim, Stephen, Mike, Annmarie and Astro Bob.