May 14th, 2022, 10:16 p.m. local time
The good news is that tomorrow night there will be a Lunar Eclipse visible in my area. The bad news is that the weather forecast continues to degrade for the duration of the eclipse event.
I have been in this position before, many times. Notable was the 2017 Solar Eclipse, when though overcast all day, the skies miraculously cleared just enough to observe and photograph the Moon’s pass in front of the Sun. Given the lousy light rain predicted Sunday night, I will need similar luck.
But if I had to guess, I am going to miss it. This is unfortunate, since it would be the first Lunar Eclipse is recent memory where I would not have had to dress up like a spaceman to brave the frigid temperatures. The 2018 eclipse was in January, same with the 2019 eclipse, and last year’s 2021 eclipse was on a very cold early November morning. 2022’s would have been on about as pleasant of a Spring night you could have asked for, rain and clouds notwithstanding.
Still, hope remains, and tonight, Saturday, the sky is clear for Lunar Eclipse Eve. Assuming rain and dampness tomorrow, I will definitely be prepping my metal 127mm Mak-Cass and not my homemade 254mm Dobsonsian. The Dobsonian is not weather-proof. It can withstand some unexpected light rain and humidity dampness, but I try to protect the cardboard tube and varnished wooden frame as much as reasonable.
So tonight I made a minor adjustment to my setup from my lunar photography sessions earlier in the week. I swapped out the stock 23mm eyepiece for the slightly wider 40mm. My rationale is that if visibility is poor, a wider view will be more appropriate, and the 40mm is the widest eyepiece I have for the Mak-Cass. Tonight’s resulting post-processed image is attached to this article.
Here’s hoping for clear skies Sunday night.
- 127mm Mak-Cass telescope
- 40mm eyepiece
- No eyepiece filter
- iPhone XS
- Smartphone telescope eyepiece adapter
- Nightcap app on iPhone
- 1/2000 sec exposure
- ISO 24
- Focal length: 4mm
- Minor touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro