The view to the central part of our Galaxy is truly spectacularly colorful, at least for cameras. Around the “heart” of Scorpius, the Antares star, are several types of interstellar nebulae, most of them surrounding star Rho of the Ophiuchus constellation in a very close neighborhood. Reddish nebulae are caused by the emission of hydrogen while bluish ones mostly contain dust scattering the light of stars close by. When to the central part of the Milky Way, more emission nebulae can be seen where new stars develop. This beautiful part of the visible close Universe colorfully filled in–viewing from Earth–our Moon during the eclipse.
The total lunar eclipse on May 16th was pretty well expected as it could have been the darkest one after 1992-93 eclipses due to volcanic ash in Earth’s atmosphere, through which part of sunlight gets to the lunar surface. More ash in the atmosphere, darker eclipse we see. Eclipses in 90′ were affected by the Pinatubo eruption, while this year’s one is supposed to be darker because of the Tonga volcano. So I did a photographic investigation using the same exposures during the whole total eclipse (and unifying brightness of the exposures due to changeful clouds coverage during the phenomenon). Overall, the eclipse was not as dark as expected so far, but definitely interesting. As the image shows, the first half (right part) was definitely darker as the volcanic ash was thicker over the Indian and Atlantic Oceans than over the Pacific. Crook or Hook, what a wonderful eclipse it was! Used Canon 6D, MTO 1100, f10.5, ISO 800, 15s exposures (for totality; partial phase is HDR), tracked on Vixen GP-2. The co-author is Josef Kujal of the Astronomical Society in Hradec Kralove.