May 15, 2003 Total Lunar Eclipse from Loma Prieta Peak

A beautiful eclipse under clear skies! Tough to find, but worth it if you could handle the long windy bumpy drive to the base of the highest mountain in the Santa Cruz Mountains to get a great view of sunset and the moon rising in total eclipse. Our crew consisted of hard core RCASSrs me, Bob, Tom, Shahram, Charlie & friend, Chris, Karl and Garth and Dave McKulle as well as Shirley and relatives from the Henry Coe trip, and Tiffany and friend from Astro 10. Mary Coyle and Andy made a valient effort to attend, but got snagged by a wrong turn just before reaching the goal.

Sunset was awesome, with the sun actually turning into a perfect square due to bizarre refraction at the interface of the distant marine layer over the ocean. Before sunset, we promised the gang a BBQ of grilled veges, a Dave McKulle specialty.

Totality began at sunset, and a half hour later we first saw the faint glow of the moon, shown here behind our crew.


Finally, it was dark enough to take some shots through our scopes. This picture below was taken through the 8" Meade, 1 second on Fuji 100 Superia 100 film, scanned and input into Photoshop where I cropped it, and adjusted the brightness and contrast.