Blood Moon

The recent Blood Moon of April 14-15 gave sky gazers a treat as it became eclipsed by Earth’s penumbra, changing to vivid shades of red and flaming orange over the course of about 45 minutes.

On the eve of the the midnight eclipse, we took a short jaunt to an overlook atop the Billings Rimrocks and enjoyed a beautiful sunset as a fun warm-up act for the celestial main event.  These panoramas show the Beartooth horizon under a colorful western sunset while in the East, the full moon was already making its appearance over downtown.

Billings-Beartooth Pano

Billings Downtown Moonrise Pano

We returned home for a few hours to grab a some quick winks, setting the alarm clock for a dark hour to get up in time for the show.  We were fortunate to awake to clear skies and a striking red orb hanging ominously in the midnight sky.

Blood Moon

I had only planned to stay up for a few minutes and go right back to bed, but of course since I had my camera out I couldn’t resist capturing the event in time lapse.  So much for sleep!

Even in real time, the moon appears to move quite rapidly through the sky, covering about 10 degrees in just 40 minutes. This 168-frame sequence took about 20 minutes to record, played back here at an accelerated rate of about 24 frames per second.

The next day at the office felt like the walking dead, but the sleep deprivation was worth it!

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