Eclipse Report

Here is my story. What did you see? Subscribe to our website and post your comment here. If you took pictures let me know and I will help you upload them.

Eclipse 4/14/14

Monday night was the total eclipse of the moon. Marvin Demmers (Butch) and I spent the week in Angels Camp with our wives. The weather was great and the skies were clear, until it was time for the eclipse. The moon rose in a thick cloud cover. It was actually beautiful at times. There was a bright ring around the moon and way out form the moon another huge ring.

Throughout the eclipse the clouds came through. Sometimes thick and then clearing. Fortunately during totality the sky was clear around the moon. We were all stunned by the beauty of the event. At totality, the moon was dark orange and looked like a big ball hanging in midair. My wife couldn’t believe how three dimensional the moon looked. Our wives stayed up to totality and then went to bed. During totality the stars came out and Butch and I spotted Hercules, Corona Borealis, Serpens, Bootees, Crater, Corvus and Libra. The last constellation we watched was Lyra and the star Vega rising. As soon at as totality was broken the stars started to disappear again. That is when Butch went to bed. I stayed up till the end of the eclipse stage to get more pictures. I went to bed at 3:00 AM. What an night!

Before the eclipse, I set-up my, Celestron NexStar 11, telescope and hoped that I could get some decent  pictures of the eclipse. I attached my Nikon D5000 camera to my ST80 telescope which I piggybacked onto the NexStar 11. The ST80 only has a focal length of 400 mm. Not enough magnification for what I was looking for. I wanted the fill the frame. I attached a 2X Barlow lens to the ST80 to double the focal length making it 800 mm (f/10) This was the perfect size.


Note that photos 1,2 and 4 were taken through the clouds. The image is focused. The blue edge is chromatic aberration from the ST40’s lens. It is only a two element lens. These pictures were not processed in any way.

Start of the Penumbral Stage 9:55 PM. The glow around the edge is vapor from the clouds.



Start of the  Eclipse 10:51 PM




Eclipse Maximum 12:46 AM. Sky was clear!


Last moments of the eclipse 2:33 AM. Note, Clouds are back.



The night before the eclipse I took some test shots of the moon to decide which scope I would use to photograph the moon. Here is a shot I took with the NexStar 11. As you can see the focal length was too long. The focal length here is 2800 mm.


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Greg Eckes


I am a retired music teacher. I make custom violins and violas. I play violin in the Tulare County Symphony and fiddle in the Tule River Bluegrass Band. I like camping and astronomy.

One thought on “Eclipse Report

  1. Butch
    Butch April 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Well, my story is pretty much the same as Greg’s, as I was with him! The day started out “iffy” due to light, but persistent overcast. The clouds did hang around throughout the event, but thinned enough we go some real good views.

    I’m sure I looked a little silly in short pants with a blanket wrapped around me, but I was pretty comfortable. The eclipse was spectacular! My favorite part was during totality when the the moon took on a 3-D appearance. Wow what a sight!!

    I was thinking how nice it would have been to have the club together to enjoy all of this. We were in a real nice RV park /campground in Angel’s Camp, with lots history, sightseeing, and shopping things to do during the day. Much, much fun!! Hope you all enjoy Greg’s pics when he gets them out there.

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