Happy Winter Solstice! It might not be as exciting as Christmas, but the winter solstice signals the lengthening of days, shortening of nights, and the return of summer and insects. Ya, it might be awhile still, but a guy can dream can’t he?
This year also saw a rare occurrence of a full lunar eclipse occurring on the winter solstice. Does it mean anything? Nope, just a special day for a special occasion. Since the next time these two astrological events coincide is in exactly 84 years on Dec. 21, 2094, it would have been a nice time to do some moon-gazing! Of course if it occured at 3am EST on a cloudy night and you have a committee meeting the next day like I did, you had to settle for photos you took in years past!
This shot was from the lunar eclipse of February 2, 2008 and shot from the middle of a rural road north of Guelph. Getting away from the light pollution of cities is the first step in astrophotography. A tripod, a remote shutter release (or warm mitts to guard against the cold while you press that button) and a hot drink all help to get the shot. Unless you live in Western Africa or the South Pacific, you’ll have to wait until June 2012 to try your hand at photographing the next partial lunar eclipse!