Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan 31, 2018: Dawn patrol on Mt. Wilson, with a blood-red blue super moon

This morning I got up a little earlier than usual to hit the Mt. Wilson Toll Road trail before 6am, in order to see the total lunar eclipse away from Pasadena's street lights.  Given that this was the second full moon of the month (therefore a blue moon), occurring at lunar perigee (hence  a super moon) and that the moon would be in total eclipse between 5am and 6am here is California (thus a blood-red moon) the folks at NPR had called it a blood red blue super moon.

It was worth seeing.

 The family had gotten up with me, the kids had taken a look and pretty quickly headed back to bed.  It was a bit hard to see it well with the street lights.  I downed some espresso, laced up my shoes and drive up to Altadena.  I was on the trail by 5:45.  The view from the shoulder of Mt Wilson was much better that from my home in Pasadena  but I couldn't get my aging iPhone 4s camera to focus given the lack of light.  By 6:20   the moon was out of totality and I was able to get a semi-decent image:
Lunar eclipse, 6:20 am , past totality
I continued fast hiking up, passing a lot of other folks who had gotten up early to hike the Toll Road to see the eclipse.  By 6:40 the dawn had progressed enough that the sky was turning light - I took this picture as I approached Henninger Flat:
Moon coming out of totality, 6:40am
From Henninger I ran up to the turn off to Idlehour, stopped and stretched, and ran back down at a  brisk pace.  It was a great way to start the day.