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Super Blue moon eclipse promises to be dazzling early morning display

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Lunar eclipse over Colorado Springs,  October 8th, 2014 - BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
  • Lunar eclipse over Colorado Springs, October 8th, 2014
January rang in the new year with a full moon, and it will go out with another one, making it the first "blue moon" month of 2018. The next full-moon, January 30-31, will also be a "super-moon,” meaning the moon is at its closest point to the earth during orbit. If that isn’t enough to make you pay attention to what our celestial neighbor is doing, there’ll also be a full lunar eclipse, completing something of a lunar phenomena trifecta.

Those willing to get up a little early on Wednesday, Jan. 31, (Mother Nature-permitting) will be able to catch the eclipse, slated to begin around 4:48 AM, at its “partial” stage when the earth is just beginning to cast a shadow on the moon. The eclipse will reach totality — when the earth's shadow completely covers the moon — a little more than an hour later at 5:52 AM. Totality will last until about 7:08 AM, when the earth's shadow begins to recede, making way for a 7:06 sunrise and 7:10 AM moon-setting. The show isn’t over after the eclipse reaches totality as the rising sun will not only cast some interesting light on the setting full moon, but the timing should place the entire event in close proximity to Pikes Peak.

In other words, get your cameras ready.

A lunar eclipse, which happens when the earth moves in between the sun and the moon, may catch fewer headlines and lack the drama of a more rare solar eclipse, like that which occurred in August 2017, but is nonetheless an awesome sight to see. And, as opposed to a solar eclipse, you don't need anything special to view a lunar eclipse — feel free to stare at it without goggles, sunglasses, welding helmets, cereal box contraptions or whatever else.

If you want to capture the occasion, photographing a lunar eclipse is also much easier than capturing a solar eclipse. The biggest advantage is you won't need any special equipment to protect your camera. What you will need, however, is a tripod, a telephoto lens, and a camera with the ability to set your exposure manually. If you don't know how to set your camera’s exposure manually, now is a good time to find the owners manual.

Word to the wise, the camera on your phone isn’t going to cut it.

For more information about how to photograph a lunar eclipse, go to www.pcmag.com, or
www.bhphotovideo.com.

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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