Lunar Eclipse over Stonehenge

March 3rd 2007

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Total Lunar Eclipse over Stonehenge : March 3rd 2007 : 23:19 GMT

This photograph shows the eclipsed moon gracing Stonehenge during the spectacular lunar eclipse of March 3rd 2007. Taken from the inner stone circle, two massive trilithons dominate the scene facing south-east. These comprise sarsens numbered 51-54, amongst the tallest at Stonehenge. The eclipsed moon hangs over the trilithons in a dramatic scene.

In front of these massive 60 ton structures, erected more than four thousand years ago by manpower alone, two people are marvelling at an alien moon. Standing close to stone 160c, about 6 yards north-east of the Altar Stone, they are my daughter, Jessica Perkins, and her friend, Mark Alder. Both are both prominent members of the Ravensbury Players amateur dramatic group, based in our village of Ramsbury, Wiltshire.

The image was taken using a Canon 20D at a focal length of 12mm at f/5.6. The exposure time was 20 seconds. A remote flash unit was fired during the exposure to provide foreground lighting. A particular difficulty was how to capture the moon and trilithons together when the moon was at an altitude of 43 degrees. The only solution was to use a wide angle lens, but this in turn would introduce distortions and cause the moon to appear smaller than it does in reality.

To solve this the moon was imaged three minutes later at 23:21 (mid eclipse) using a separate lens and composited onto this image, exactly superimposing the moon's image in the original scene. This more accurately replicates the view of the moon over the trilithons as seen by the naked eye.

Date: 03/03/2007 : 23:19 GMT
Location: Stonehenge, inner circle
Conditions: calm, very damp, good transparency at start but becoming increasingly foggy
Camera: Canon 20D with Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens working at 12mm, f/5.6
Mount: Fixed tripod
Exposure: 20 seconds





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