Partial lunar eclipse taken on May 15-16, 2022 by Jim Stacey | SkyNews
Partial lunar eclipse by Jim Stacey

Nearing the total lunar eclipse, by Jim Stacey

Jim Stacey’s eerie partial lunar eclipse frame, taken in mid-May, received the Photo of the Week title on June 4, 2022.

Jim Stacey’s eerie partial eclipse, the last frame before the total eclipse in mid-May, won Photo of the Week for June 4, 2022.

Partial lunar eclipse taken on May 15-16, 2022 by Jim Stacey | SkyNews
Partial lunar eclipse by Jim Stacey

Shooting in sub-zero temperatures from the east-end of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Jim Stacey captured the total lunar eclipse of May 15-16, 2022 at one-minute intervals — from its cloudy beginnings to mostly clear skies.

That period, he said, ranged from approximately 10:50 p.m. to almost 2:00 a.m., after which the totally eclipsed moon was, itself, fully eclipsed by clouds. 

The image he shared with SkyNews is the last frame he captured before the total eclipse, “with the last hint of sunlight disappearing from the limb of the moon and the stars emerging from the depths of space — the occluded moon glowing crimson from sunlight, refracted through the earth’s atmosphere.”

The process

Stacey described the moon as being sufficiently bright around the initial hour of the partial eclipse, which allowed him to benefit from a good exposure using his 1980s vintage manual-focus Canon FD 500mm prime lens, stopped down to F6.3 with a shutter speed of 1/400 seconds at ISO100, using a Sony A7R3 full-frame camera cropped to APSC mode.

As the eclipse progressed, Stacey said the exposures were manually increased until, during totality, they were 6-15 seconds — a factor of 6000x longer exposure to obtain roughly the same number of photons. 

“In LightRoom, I boosted the background stars by a factor of 16x (4 stops) to provide a backdrop to the totally eclipsed moon to match the reality of the camera sensor to my perception of the visual scene,” he wrote. “Against this backdrop, the eclipsed moon was unnaturally bright, so the exposure of the moon was suppressed by a factor of 4x (2 stops), and thereafter processed to taste.”

Honourable mention

Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888) by Philippe Moussette | SkyNews
Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888) by Philippe Moussette

The runner up for the first week of June was Philippe Moussette’s image of the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888), which is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus and is approximately 5,000 light-years away from planet Earth.

According to Moussette, the image was taken with a Canon EOS 6D, defiltred, with the help of a Takahashi FSQ-106 telescope and a narrowband triad Ultra Quad-Band filter OPT.  

Every week, SkyNews publishes the best image from among those sent in by readers from all across Canada. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at night sky photography, we’re looking for your pictures! Enter today for your chance to win a Photo of the Week title and one of our annual prizes!

Prizes for the 2021-22 SkyNews Photo of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and SkyNews. Find out more about the amazing telescopes, prize packages and gift vouchers awarded to the best photos this year.

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