This stunning time-lapse photograph shows the May 15 total lunar eclipse above an astronomical observatory at the South Pole against a backdrop of magnificent auroras and starry polar skies.
The photo of the lunar eclipse was taken by Aman Chokshi, a doctoral student in astronomy at the University of Melbourne, Australia, who is currently spending a year working at the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica, studying micro-radiation. wave emitted by the cosmos as part of the dark -hole looking at the Event Horizon Telescope array.
“Last Monday we were blessed with a total lunar eclipse view from the South Pole,” Chokshi told Space.com in an email. “The moon gradually darkened and turned orange. It was crazy to see how the sky darkened and the millions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy emerged. At the height of the eclipse, a band of bright aurora erupted across the sky. A truly spectacular evening show!”
Chokshi (who you can see pictured with a friend waving at the camera from the edge of the roof of the telescope building), took the images that make up this time lapse over a 5-hour period.
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“The background image is a 20 second single exposure with a 24-70 millimeter sigma lens, at f/2.8, iso 3200 on a Sony A7RVI, captured at the height of the eclipse,” said said Chokshi. “The series of images of the moon were captured with an old sigma 400mm film lens, on a Sony A7S, on a skywatcher stellar adventurer tracker. The final composite image contains images of the moon every four minutes.”
It took courage and ingenuity for Chokshi to take the images. The South Pole, which is currently approaching the peak of the winter period, is plunged into permanent darkness, and polar explorers must endure some of the most extreme weather conditions that can be encountered on Earth.
“We had a sustained wind of 15 to 20 knots which brought the ambient temperature down to minus 60 degrees Celsius. [minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit] at minus 80 degrees C [minus 112 degrees F] with wind chill,” Chokshi said. “Both cameras had to be housed in special heated foam boxes I made, to keep them from freezing.”
For more great photography of the South Pole and astronomy, follow Chokshi on Instagram @aman_chokshi (opens in a new tab)
Editor’s note: If you take an amazing photo of the moon or other view of the night sky and want to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, and name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.