Super, wolf, blood moon - Jan. 20, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Photos by Dave Petrick

The Dickinson County News' freelance photographer Dave Petrick set up his camera to capture an especially rare lunar event. The moon was not only close enough to the earth to be considered a super moon, but it was also the first full moon of the new year, which is often referred to as a wolf moon. On top of those two aspects, conditions were right for what is called a blood moon, in which sunlight is filtered and refracted around the earth and gives the moon a red appearance. Petrick said he set up his camera on a tripod by the glow of his headlights before setting it down in a public hunting area. "I am able to control the camera from my phone," Petrick said. "This allowed me to sit in the car and change settings as needed, and fire the camera. Periodically, I had to go out and reposition the camera as the moon moved across the sky. About every 10 minutes, I brought the camera into the car to warm it up a bit." He said he had to change the camera's battery several times because the cold temperatures drained the charge faster than normal. He went on to say the red-tint of the blood moon wasn't as spectacular locally. "Once the eclipse reached its peak, the moon should have turned red, but this did not happen as clouds moved in and obscured the moon," Petrick said. "I waited to see if the clouds would clear to get images as the moon moved out of the earth's shadow. But that did not happen." In the end, Petrick was able to get at least one shot of the moon sporting its crimson color.