Copyright John Harrison Photography
Photographer John Harrison captured this view of the Dec. 10 total solar eclipse above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. "I went out at sunrise this morning not sure what to expect," he wrote. "What an awesome sight! The blue skies at sunrise with the red moon overhead were just a sight to watch. It was worth the 3 a.m. start to our fun shooting." See more of his portfolio at the John Harrison Photography website.
Millions of people witnessed today's total lunar eclipse, and that means there were plenty of cameras snapping in the darkness. We've put together this sampling from the photos submitted via FirstPerson, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
This was the last total solar eclipse until 2014, but there'll be plenty of other sky phenomena between now and then — including an unusual "diamond ring" annular solar eclipse next May, a Venus transit in June, a total solar eclipse in November, and meteor showers galore. Please keep us in mind whenever you've got a cool picture of the cosmos, and thanks for passing along slick eclipse pics like these:
Humza Mehbub sent this composite image of the lunar eclipse from Lahore, Pakistan. The multiple exposures show Earth's shadow creeping across the moon's disk from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Lahore, when the eclipse hit its peak.
Anthony Citrano, a fashion photographer from Venice, Calif., captured this pre-dawn view of the eclipse as seen over Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. "Before going to bed at 1 a.m. ... I considered setting my alarm to get up and shoot the eclipse," Citrano wrote. "I was feeling quite tired - and lazily decided not to set the alarm. But my subconscious mind was determined, because I nevertheless awoke four hours later. I got out of bed, looked out the window, and it was just starting to go into shadow. I shot a few hand-held shots from my home in Venice - and then hopped in the car and drove the mile or two to the Santa Monica bluffs. This shot is the result. ... Running out the door I didn't notice I was traveling with a nearly-dead battery - and no spares - and this lens is really hard on power. I ran out of juice just after this shot, so I'm glad I got it." To learn more about Citrano's day job, check out his portfolio at Zigzag Lens.
German science writer Daniel Fischer captured this picture of the total eclipse during a trip to Ranihet, India. "Took a lot of pictures with different settings, as a guide for the next total lunar eclipse - which, unfortunately, is now 3 years away." For more, check out Fischer's Twitpic gallery and his Cosmic Mirror website.
Cartographer Michael Zeiler sent in this composite photo that captures the last partial stages of the lunar eclipse as seen from Los Alamos, N.M. "Total lunar eclipse began two minutes after sunrise where I live," Zeiler wrote. "I tried to capture a photograph of the selenelion, but missed it by a couple of minutes." Zeiler's website is the aptly named Eclipse-Maps.com, and he has produced charts for the May annular solar eclipse as well as the November total solar eclipse. "My map of the transit of Venus is on page 70 of the January 2012 Sky and Telescope," he says.
The lunar eclipse competes with the bright lights of Las Vegas in this photo from Jim Werle.
JoAnne and Michael Schnyder
JoAnne and Michael Schnyder sent this picture of the partial eclipse from Cape Verde, Ariz. This was the view at 6:45 a.m. MT, at a stage when Earth's shadow hadn't yet completely covered the moon's disk but you could already make out the reddish eclipse glow.
For some observers in the western U.S., the eclipse provided the seemingly impossible opportunity to catch the sunrise and the moonset simultaneously - a phenomenon known as "selenelion." Adam Gray sent in these two photos that show the brightening sunrise sky in the east and the darkening moon in the west. "The marine layer started to roll in right at about the time of totality," Gray wrote.
This eclipse preview story provides further explanation of the "impossible" selenelion phenomenon (alternate spelling is "selenehelion"). While we're on the subject of selenelion, toy inventor Mark Burginger sent in a couple of photos from the parking lot at Tetherow Golf Course in Bend, Ore., that shows the eastward sunrise view as well as the westward lunar eclipse view.
Follow the links below to see eclipse photos from:
- C.J. Cassarino of Livermore, Calif.
- Dale Cunningham of Corona, Calif.
- Barbara Hewitt of San Marcos, Calif.
- Joe Leonard of Taos, N.M.
- Fran Pepoon of Roseville, Calif.
- Anthony Wells from Hawaii
Thanks again to these photographers as well as others who submitted eclipse pics. For still more about today's event and other eclipses, check out these links:
- PhotoBlog gallery of lunar and solar eclipses
- Interactive: What causes a lunar eclipse?
- Nine cool facts about the lunar eclipse
- Why an eclipse paints the moon red
Alan Boyle is msnbc.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.