Total moon eclipse at the planetarium

01/08/2018

During the total eclipse of the moon on July 27, 2018, the Madrid Planetarium organized an observation in its esplanade with telescopes attended by members of the Madrid Astronomical Association and I had the pleasure of participating by contributing and operating one of the 20 or 25 telescopes that allowed the public to see the eclipse through these equipment’s.

 

I can't tell you how many people participated, but I'm not really wrong when I say that there were thousands of people, according to what they said when they arrived at the telescope post, many of them after a wait of more than 3 hours.

 

It was the first time I had participated with a telescope and I opted for something easy to carry, my small 70mm refractor with a high azimuthal iCube mount. To see the moon I considered it a good option, and during the night he also behaved well to observe the planets that were in sight: Mars (protagonist for its brightness and position close to the moon), Saturn, Jupiter and Venus. For the planets it lacked some magnification, but it showed its great optical quality.

 

The experience was incredible because I enjoyed the astonishment of everyone who approached the eyepiece of the telescope, no one complained about the hours of waiting and on the contrary, they commented how much it had been worthwhile to have the experience of looking out to see the moon and the planets. No matter how many impressive photos anyone has seen on the Internet, nothing compares to the live experience, and children and adults exclaimed enthusiastically when they saw, many for the first time, Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons, the Venus phase, the orange tones of Mars, or the lunar landscapes of blood red during the eclipse. 

 

The photo is a composition of two photos taken with iPhone: the environment of the Planetarium directly with my mobile phone, and the moon approaching the camera of a participant's mobile phone to the eyepiece of my refractor, who was kind enough to pass me the photo. The moon and Mars over the planetarium sky.

 

 

 

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