Photo composite by Debbie Wolfe
The full moon subtly blushed on the evening of Friday, February 10 for about four hours as its face experienced a penumbral lunar eclipse that darkened it ever so slightly while passing through the Earth’s outer shadow. The event was best seen through specialty cameras or scopes as to the naked eye, the moon’s glow made it almost too bright to detect. This composite image is a combination of three separate photos that, from left, show the eclipse just before, during and after the local 7:44 p.m. peak time over the span of about an hour from the viewpoint of the south beach at Pass-a-Grille in St. Pete Beach. A Nikon D5000 camera equipped with a specialty 1,500mm lens and tripod was used. The nickname for this month’s full moon is “Snow Moon.” According to EarthSky.com, other folklore names for a February full moon are “Hunger Moon” and “Wolf Moon.” For those who had access to high-powered binoculars or telescopes and were willing to stay up late, the Saturday, February 11 sky show at 3 a.m. featured Comet 45P passing at its closest point to Earth. For the rest of us, visit NASA for a still photo apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170212.html. Sky event research essential to eclipse photography was provided by Gina Poletz-McCall.