Lunar Eclipse 2014

Astronomy is favorite pastime of some guests at the Painted Pony Resort and the resort attracts astronomy groups looking for clear night skies with southern views.  The San Simon valley, lying between the Chiricahua and Peloncillo mountains in southwestern New Mexico, provides such an observing opportunity.  All-Star Telescope is just one of the groups making yearly visits to PPR for the observing opportunities in the remote high desert.  During their visits, the 50x50 hanger is converted into base of operations for the astronomers while the wives and other family members enjoy the comforts of the estate, creating an environment where everyone is accommodated and feels comfortable.

Not being an astronomer, but with the encouragement of guests, I tried my hand at some simple photographs of the first lunar eclipse of the year visible in the U.S..  I took the opportunity to get out with my simple point and shoot digital camera, view the eclipse, and try for some images.  The full moon rise over the Peloncillo moutains was large and bright and even without a tripod several photographs were captured.  Somewhat later once the eclipse started it became more difficult for the auto focus to settle in on the moon and only a couple of images were captured.  Clearly a tripod would have been a useful addition for night time photography of an object as close and bright as the moon.  In comparison to images taken from the resort that guests have shared, these first attempts only offer a faint imitation of the beauty of the night sky visible here.  Fortunately lunar eclipses are regular occurrences and there will be other opportunities to try again.

Moon rise in the San Simon valley.

Partial eclipse.


  1. Shutter and film speed and aperture?

  2. I think you did a very good job for your first attempt!

  3. Thanks, I shot at F8 using aperture priority, allowing the software to choose shutter speed.