Moonrise occurred at 7:14 PST, and the moon rose already in the penumbra of the earth’s shadow, so it looked like a cloudy pink smear. I walked over to the nearby park about 7:30. In the early stages, the color was remarkably pink. It darkened to orange-red as the event continued.
At roughly 7:30:
I thought the September full moon was called the Corn Moon. I didn’t know what all the hoopla about “blood moon” was. It’s from a modern book of biblical prophecy, based on a line from the Book of Revelation… of course. And it was a “supermoon,” a point in the moon’s orbit when, because the orbit isn’t a perfect circle, the moon is closest to earth. No one could ask the internet to resist the idea of “super-blood-moon eclipse.” Basically, “blood moon” means nothing except that some guy who wrote a book made some money.
At roughly 8:15:
I was shooting with a Canon T3i with a Tamron 18-270mm zoom, a 1.8X zoom extender, and a tripod. I still got a bit of blur, because if I was slow to get my fingers off the camera, my heartbeat would provide enough jiggle to affect the photo. (Note to self; get a remote shutter release.)
At roughly 8:30
The park’s sprinklers came on. I was safe since I was in the parking lot. A young Belgian couple was not so lucky. They had brought a picnic, some wine and a blanket, and settled out on the soccer fields to watch the eclipse. The sound of water rushing through the pipes gave them a little warning, but they got pretty damp, they told me, racing for the walkway as water droplets jetted out of the sprinkler heads.
At roughly 8:45
I’m a material, earthbound kind of person, but lunar eclipses take me out of myself, if only for an hour of so. For that hour, I really do begin to understand that there is a star surrounded by whirling chunks of rock — and we’re one of those chunks. And that the chunk of rock that whirls around us reflects that star’s light. And that maybe it’s not all just about my little life.