Lunar Eclipse Dec 2011: Threading the Needle on the Transamerica Pyramid!

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Predicting exactly where to stand to have the moon strike the top of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.
Each second of video translates into 2 minutes of time, so the 5 seconds of video represents 10 minutes of moon movement. Using eclipse predictions, lunar elevation angle and compass direction, I used the height of the tower to predict how far away I’d need to stand and in what compass direction. I mapped that point on Google Earth, showed up a little early to start shooting 120+ photos to created the timelapse sequence, and it turned out that I pretty much nailed it! The center of the moon passed right across the tip of the tower.

Read more: badastronomy

Written by physicsgg

December 13, 2011 at 6:03 am


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  1. Righteous pic and video, I’m so glad you captured that magnificent moment in the sky. I, too, hail from SF, and was walking home from the Civic Center Plaza, where I just smoked a bowl of righteous ganja with my medicinal caregiver. Just before we parted I said: “Holy fuk, check out the moon!” It was like suddenly the moon had jumped to half its normal distance, and I could see not only the lovely burly orange and cream white shadings, but the actual markings of all the craters, cracks, valleys and mountains there! Lo and behold, like a religious epihany, there gleamed brightly like pure silver, a thick sliver at the lower left crescent of the pearly satellite. Moonshine on my shoulder as I walk home in the brisk autumn air looking back frequently, to gaze upon this magnificent orb of Orange Julius delight. I am a moon child (sun sign is cancer), and feel tremendously blessed to have felt the sacred shower of orange benevolence that fell so softly and bright upon each and every soul that was outside at the time, regardless of their ability to project or deny compassion. Thinking that silvery radiance in the lower left may have been an illusion, that is, a distortion from my aging, rheumy eyes (and recent laser/cryotherapy operation for a detaching retina in my left eye), I thought to google “eclipse december 13 2011”, and found your video as link #7 on the first page of results. Again, thank you so much for capturing an extraordinary astronomical and astrological moment. It was a magic night for me!

    Zeke Krahlin

    December 15, 2011 at 3:00 am

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