Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Solstice lunar eclipse

We were really lucky to get clear skies here (in Castlewellan) for the lunar eclipse this morning.

We got out around 6:30 am and the eclipse had already begun.

The scene was truly magical. They sky was a deep blue, the snowy ground sparkled under the moonlight and the stars twinked. The clear cold air and cold blue sky gave an almost arctic feel to the event. It all felt very fresh and clear.

Here are our pictures of the event, taken from the top of the garden. They can never do justice to the atmosphere and to how the scene looked (it all looks so much darker in the photos) but they are a nice reminder for us.

This first one shows just how small the moon looked from there - it's the wee speck in the middle of the picture.

Now we're following the eclipse as it engulfs the moon.

By now, the sky is lightening to a paler blue as dawn hovers and the moon is fading into a gently dim pink as it is eclipsed. With the snow shining out and the moon descending behind the snow covered mountains it really looked otherworldy.

It was fantastic to watch the eclipse, to be in that atmosphere, of clearness and peace, then to feel the shift to early morning light and winter solstice sunrise.

I'm delighted to have been able to experience it .. and to be able to have a wee nap afterwards (well it was quite an early morning!)

Solstice greetings everyone and a warm welcome to the lengthening days of new beginnings.


  1. Nice job Ferris! I am ashamed to admit I was sleeping when this amazing event was going on :-(.

  2. How beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I wanted to see the eclipse, but it was cloudy where I am in the US. :( I was very disappointed! Perhaps next time!

  3. Great pictures. Living in Wicklow and rose early but the cloud cover was too much. Best pictures I've seen so far of the lunar eclipse. Nothing better than an early morning reminder that we are part of something pretty amazing.

  4. It was great to have a bit of luck with the weather being clear and finding the 'good' camera and a tripod.
    I'm glad you're all enjoying the pictures - its nice to share the experience of it as best we can.
    Even if you missed it - keep looking at the skies, they can be so beautiful at night with the stars shining brightly.

  5. I'm glad you were able to attend the event and love seeing all of your pictures. We had planned to watch but the skys clouded over so we did not bother to stay up. I have a feeling we will not see the next one either as I believe I read it is not for another 84 years. Happy Solstice.:)

  6. Dear Mr. H. It is amazing to see the eclipses, but the night skies are pretty amazing anyway, if we really stop to look at them. Anyway, there are quite a few partial and other eclipses - sooner than 84 years.

    Hi Brendan, Thanks for dropping by. Glad I could share the moment and the experience.

  7. Great pics. Unfortunately there was cloud and fog here in Arigna.

  8. The eclipse coincidentally also marked the summer solstice in Australia, the longest day of the year at 14 hours, 25 minutes and one second.

    Its nice to be finally getting some good old Aussie summer sunshine but the weather man has again warned us of more impending 'super cell' storms in the New Year!


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