Earth’s shadow in infrared

“I wasn’t happy with my visible light photos, but Earth’s shadow showed great in IR. The rest was just working out the photo conditions by trial and error.”

Photo taken July 10, 2016 outside Tucson, Arizona by Eliot Herman.

Photo taken July 10, 2016 outside Tucson, Arizona by our friend Eliot Herman.

Maybe you’ve noticed Earth’s shadow – or at least seen photos of Earth’s shadow – descending in the west before dawn, or ascending in the east after sunset. Once you know to look for it, it’s possible to notice it on clear evenings, even from small cities, if you get up high enough. Eliot Herman wrote:

It has been so hot here that I just haven’t wanted to set up my telescopes before dark or, even worse, use a solar scope in the heat … but I have been getting up early and refining the Earth shadow in infrared (IR) and think I really have it now. It shows very nicely at 830 nm IR.

I could never see the shadow when I lived in the city. Here, at the right time of year, I see it many mornings. I let my mind imagine it projecting out into space making on occasion that lunar eclipse with such vivid colors.

When can you see Earth’s shadow?

Deborah Byrd