My annual fall foliage visit to the San Juan Mountains coincided with a rare celestial event, a total eclipse of the Moon while it was at its closest distance (perigee) to Earth during its orbit. A “supermoon” is especially impressive because it is approximately 10% larger than the average moon and about 15% brighter. Coupled with the total eclipse, the whole event was truly dramatic.
To kick off my San Juans Fall foliage trip, I went to McClure Pass. After checking the Photographers Ephemeris for the timing and direction of the moonrise, I selected McClure Pass for its unobstructed view of the eastern sky and the view of nearby mountains. After claiming a camping spot at nearby McClure Pass campground, I drove up a side road to get prepared for what I assumed would be a solitary vigil. But as the afternoon turned into evening, more people joined me to watch the spectacle and my solitary location turned into an eclipse watching party.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Supermoon Total Eclipse gallery here. Click on any image below to see a larger version.
Just Before Totality
Just After Totality
When I returned from the trip, I combined three of the eclipse photos into a composite that shows the moon passing through totality of the eclipse.
Supermoon eclipses are quite rare, and the next one will not occur for another 18 years. So I am grateful that I was able to get a clear view of this one, and to share it with several new friends.As always, I would appreciate your adding a comment in the section below.