Even if you are not particularly interested in astronomy, you should still be aware about the amazing astronomical events you can witness this year. The year of 2021 will give you an opportunity to observe two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses, however, one of them has already happened. Check what is still waiting for you.
The exact dates of eclipses in 2021
One of the eclipses has already happened. This was a complete lunar eclipse which took place a couple of days ago, on the 26th of May. Actually, this day was pretty rich into important astronomical events. Apart from the complete lunar eclipse, the Moon itself was full. On top of that, on this day there was an apsis of the Moon which means it was in the position with the minimum distance to the Earth. In practice it meant that for a short time there was Supermoon. This term is used by astronauts to describe the Moon in its closest position to the Earth since during this time it appears larger than usually. Actually, the distance between the Moon and the Earth during an apsis is less than 362000 km. Even though the Moon becomes Supermoon every year, this event rarely happens thus close to an apsis. The eclipse shadow lasted 3 hours and 7 minutes whereas the complete eclipse lasted only 14 minutes and 30 seconds.
The next significant astronomical event will happen on the 10th of June. This will be a beautiful solar eclipse of the type known as “Ring of fire”. During this eclipse the Moon will not be able to cover the Sun entirely leaving the edges of the star uncovered. This bright light coming from the partially covered Sun will look like a ring of fire. This is a quite rare astronomical event.
The next significant date of the astronomical calendar is the 19th of November. During this time people in particular places of the Earth will be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse.
Finally, there will also be a complete solar eclipse on the 4th of December. This will happen around Antarctic.
How to make a good photo of an eclipse
Undeniably, both solar eclipses and lunar eclipses are amazing natural events which deserve to be depicted. They attract attention from various photographers from around the world who can take beautiful pictures with their professional cameras.
Yet, you can also make nice pictures of a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse even if you do not have any expensive equipment. Of course, a camera of a smartphone will never give you the quality of a photo close to the photos made with a reflex camera, so do not expect too much of your equipment. Still, it does not mean you should resign of the chances of taking pictures of these unique events.
When it comes to the events which are waiting for us in 2021, it will be possible to make photos of both lunar eclipses and solar eclipses. There will be enough light during all of the events mentioned in this article.
If you really want to make some great photos, you can purchase additional equipment. For example, can purchase additional camera lens which will help you to increase the focus distance. This will give you a way better quality of a photo than it is in the case of the digital focusing. Some examples of good camera lens for smartphones are Moment and Olloclip.
If you do not have a chance to be present in one of the locations in which full eclipses will be visible, you can try to make photos of partial eclipses which happen more frequently. In order not to spoil the camera with the intensive light coming from the Sun during a partial eclipse, you will need a special filter which can be purchased in the store with professional photography equipment. You yourself should put glasses on in order to protect your own eyes from this light.
Do not forget about a tripod which will help you to eliminate any movements which can add noise to the photos with a large zoom.
Once you get all of the equipment, it is recommended to exercise in taking photos of the Moon without an eclipse first. This will help you to understand which setting should be used for making such photos. Even though the colour exposition and automatic focusing can be enough for taking good photos, you might still need to add some effects manually while editing the photos in order to improve their quality.
Finally, it is highly recommended to take photos in the RAW format rather than in popular JPEG. The latter one will not depict all of the details and will give you an overall worse quality. In order to be able to take pictures in the RAW format, you will need a special application on your smartphone. For the phones running on Android, you can use Camera FV-5 or Manual Camera. You can use ProCam or Halide for iOS.
Be particularly attentive while making photos of a solar eclipse as it can be detrimental for your eyesight as well as your camera.