Total Lunar Eclipse Time Lapse, January 20-21, 2019

January 21st, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’ve been wanting to do this kind of time lapse of a lunar eclipse to show just how much change in brightness occurs when the full moon suddenly becomes nearly dark.

Most presentations of a lunar eclipse don’t really capture the darkening, just the change in color as the moon transitions from being illuminated by direct sunlight to the weak sunset glow from the annulus of scattered sunlight through Earth’s atmosphere.

I took three hours of photos, one every 23 seconds, at Little River Canyon, Alabama to make this. The camera setting was constant throughout (ISO640, f/5.6, 20 sec exposures). The temperature was unusually cold, 26 deg. F, low humidity, and there was a moderate wind out of the north. The video is best appreciated full-screen.

13 Responses to “Total Lunar Eclipse Time Lapse, January 20-21, 2019”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Svante says:

    You sure have a genuine interest in science!

  2. Rhee says:

    Sadly, in my town in southern CA, thick clouds rolled in just after 8pm PT and obscured the rest of this event. I was able to get a couple of pics as the shadow crept up to cover about 1/3 of the moon and that was it. Thanks Dr. Roy for the time lapse view.

  3. Wayne Raymond says:

    Super cool, dude. Thanks for this! Who’d a thunk the moon could appear so bright in a 20 second time lapse. Talk about your moon shadow, moon shadow.

  4. .
    ❶①❶① . . . The recent Slowdown on trial . . .

    Alarmists have started a legal battle, in an effort to convict the recent Slowdown of a serious crime. The crime in question is, “impersonating a real Slowdown”. This heinous crime carries a maximum sentence of 20 years of watching Al Gore “documentaries”.

    The trial is about to begin. We have managed to get our “climate reporter”, Sheldon Walker, on to the jury hearing the case against the recent Slowdown. We asked Sheldon if he thought that it was “fair”, for him to be on the jury? Sheldon replied, “Is it “fair”, that Alarmists won’t admit that there was a small, temporary Slowdown, that doesn’t have any significant long-term implications for global warming”?

    Sheldon is prepared to go to extreme lengths to help his friend. He has taught himself to text message with his toes, using a cellphone that is hidden in his shoe. Sheldon will be sending us text message “reports” from inside the room where the jury members are deliberating. These text message reports will be limited to 160 character per text message (Sheldon refuses to use Twitter), so Sheldon will use abbreviations where necessary.

  5. Mike Flynn says:

    Dr Spencer,

    Very nice. Natural philosophy at its most natural. I wish there was more of it.


  6. Skeptikal says:

    Awesome video. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Bri says:

    nice thanks i missed most of it because i dont like freezing to death.
    Did you hear the Alexandra O~crazy~O is related to Nostradamus and is now predicting the world will end in 12 years.

  8. Hi Dr. Spencer
    thnx a lot! This is unbelievable. Super Video.
    Regards from the deeply snowed in Swiss mountains,

  9. .
    ❶①❶① . . . An open letter to . . .

    Gavin Schmidt from is a wise person.

    He gives good advice.

    If Gavin gives you some advice, then I suggest that you take it.

    Gavin recently gave all Deniers some good advice.

    If Deniers don’t want to be rightly accused of climate denial, then don’t go around denying climate science.

    That bit of advice is beautifully simple. It can’t be argued with. It is logically sound. It is a statement that Yogi Berra would be proud of.

    But Gavin is a busy person. He doesn’t have time to give everybody the advice that they deserve.

    To solve this problem, I have managed to “get inside Gavin’s head”, so that everybody can benefit from Gavin’s wisdom.

    First, some advice for Alarmists.

    Alarmists, if you don’t want to be called a stupid arrogant jerk, then don’t act like a stupid arrogant jerk.

    Now some advice for climate scientists.

    Climate scientists, if you don’t want to be called an undemocratic third world dictator, then don’t act like an undemocratic third world dictator.

    Even Gavin could benefit from some “Gavin” type advice.

    Gavin, if you don’t want to be called an obnoxious Tamino-like character, then don’t act like an obnoxious Tamino-like character.

    I think that I am getting the hang of giving out wise advice.

    I think that I will quit while I am ahead, with one last piece of advice for Gavin.

    Gavin, if you want to “weasel” out of answering any difficult climate questions, then call the questioner a Denier. Because nobody is expected to answer questions from Deniers.

    Sorry, Gavin. I can see that you already knew that last piece of advice.

    Keep up the good work !!!


    An open letter to

    Anybody who would like to read the conversation that I DIDN’T have with Gavin, should click this link:

  10. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    I saw the eclipse from Colorado, and was a little surprised that it started from the buttom of the Moon and ended at the left side of the Moon. (The shadow went out to the right side of the Moon)
    I know the Moon was not passing through the center of the Earths shadow, but anyway it was not as expected.
    Can anyone give a good explanation?

Leave a Reply