The Lunar Eclipse From Mt. Whitney
The 1989 Total Eclipse of the Moon From the Summit of Mt. Whitney
This photograph was obtained while on the summit of Mt. Whitney
on August 16, 1989 around
8:30 PM PDT. The moon was nearing the end of the total phase of the eclipse, which ended some
25 minutes after this picture was taken. The brighter lower left portion of the moon is nearing the
edge of the earth's shadow, and thus brighter than the upper right portion of the moon. The orange-
red color of the moon is due to the refraction of light in the earth's atmosphere that in turn actually
illuminates the moon, despite being completely in the earth's shadow. If there was no atmosphere
around the earth, then during an eclipse of the moon, the moon would not be visible at all.
The Zeiss-Ikon 35mm camera with a 250mm lens set at f/4 was
used to take this 10 second time
exposure on Kodak Ektar 1000 ASA film.
Table Mountain Observatory, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is located just west of the
town of Wrightwood, California at an elevation of 7500 feet.
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