Werner Ulrich's Home Page:  Picture of the Month

 Now "Ulrich's Bimonthly"












May 2004

   Picture of the month











Lunar eclipse  This month, on May 4, we will be able to observe a total eclipse of the Moon over most of Africa, Europe, Southern and Eastern Asia, and Australia; the eastern parts of South America will be able to see the last stages of the eclipse shortly after the moonrise. 


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For a hyperlinked overview of all issues of "Ulrich's Bimonthly" and the previous "Picture of the Month" series, see the site map


What is a lunar eclipse? Astronomers give all kinds of precise explanations and definitions. As a rule, these explanations are "earth centered," that is, they explain what we see from the Earth. Why not turn things around and see the eclipse as a lunar event? That yields a surprisingly simple explanation: a lunar eclipse is a solar eclipse observed on the moon!


Lunar Eclipse Computer  Would you like to know whether and at what time precisely you will be able to see the lunar eclipse where you live? Here is a page that allows you to get this information in a most easy and convenient way: Lunar Eclipse Computer



Lunar Eclipse over San Francisco Bay   I initially considered preparing a picture of the month featuring the lunar eclipse of 4 May 2004; but when I discovered Cleet Carlton's picture of the eclipsed moon rising over the Golden Gate Bridge on 15 May 2003, I forgot the idea. Having lived myself for five years in the San Francisco Bay Area and being familiar with the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, I find this one of the most fascinating and beautiful pictures I have seen both of the bridge and of a lunar eclipse. Hence, I wrote to Cleet for permission and he kindly allowed me to use his photograph as a picture of the month. Cleet, a professional geologist and hobby photographer, has thus become my first guest photographer. A big "thank you" to Cleet! Please respect his copyright as much as I trust you observe the copyright note belonging to this web site. Thank you.



Lunar eclipse time lapse sequence  I asked Cleet to explain the way he took his magnificent photograph. Here is his explanation:

"This multiple exposure was taken between 9:05 and 10:00 PM, and consists of 12 exposures, each about 1 to 2 seconds long, and separated by about 5 minutes. The camera's aperature was left open the entire time, but was thoroughly covered between exposures with a custom-made hood (just for the event), resulting in a sequence preserved on one piece of film."

Additional data:

  • Camera: Hasselblad 501CM
  • Lens: 80 mm
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Bogen tripod
  • No filters were used



Discussion "I planned to get this shot well in advance of the event. Using Internet resources, I was able to determine the azimuth and time the moon should have appeared over the horizon. The idea was to capture the moon in full eclipse right above the north tower of the bridge (unfortunately, that didnít happen as haze in the sky over the San Francisco Bay that day prevented the moon from being seen until it was well above the horizon). Upon reaching a vantage point along the Marin Headlands Road, I used a Brunton compass to line that azimuth up with the north tower and set up. I moved about 5 feet over when I found out (quite serendipitously) that the TransAmerican Pyramid* (which I could not see at the time) appeared through the hole in the north tower. As the time approached for the eclipse to begin, the entire stretch of the Marin Headlands Road became fender-to-fender with parked cars and people. My two biggest challenges during the taking of this image were the crowds of people (and a pet dog or two), several within an arms length of me and the tripod, and cars passing frequently around the curve behind me with headlights that I had to block out with an umbrella that Iím so glad I brought. As it turned out, planning was the main reason I was able to get this shot."

(Text offered by Cleet Carlton, 30 April 2004)


The Transamerican Pyramid

*TransAmerican Pyramid:

San Francisco's tallest building, 853 feet high, located in the heart of downtown and dominating the city's skyline






May, 2004

When the moon rose over San Francisco...                       (c) 2003 Cleet Carlton - Click for emailing Cleet

 Eclipsed moon over Golden Gate Bridge. Credit & Copyright: Cleet Carlton, 15 May 2003

When the Moon rose over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge on May 15, 2003, it was eclipsed!

Credit and Copyright: Cleet Carlton

Source: Lunar Eclipse Gallery



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Last updated 16 Nov 2009 (first published 1 May 2004)


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