Total lunar eclipse.. here the low down not another one till 2010!
"It looks like it's going to be a hard one to spot," Seto said.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into Earth's shadow and is blocked from the sun's rays that normally illuminate it. During an eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, leaving a darkened moon visible to observers on the night side of the planet.
The moon doesn't go black because indirect sunlight still reaches it after passing through the Earth's atmosphere. Since the atmosphere filters out blue light, the indirect light that reaches the moon transforms it into a reddish or orange tinge, depending on how much dust and cloud cover are in the atmosphere at the time.
Wednesday's total eclipse phase will last nearly an hour. Earth's shadow is expected to blot out the moon beginning around 7 p.m. on the West Coast and 10 p.m. on the East Coast. West Coast skygazers will miss the start of the eclipse because it occurs before the moon rises.
Unlike solar eclipses which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.
Later this year, in August, there will be a total solar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse."
When shooting the moon (no not THAT kind of moon!) remember to treat it as a sun lit object, start with 1/60 of second or probably higher as much as 1/250 or more to start and adjust as the surface darkens. Take lots of shots, bracketing as you go, either speed or f-stop. For P&S cameras that have a "programmable" setting but can't adjust f-stop or shutter speeds use the EV +/- with a setting of at least 1/3 EV and go 2 or 3 stops above and below the cameras setting. As the eclipse progresses you will have to adjust down the speed/ or f-stop.
You can go for a zoomed in or wide angle with some nice background like horizon line at 1/3 lower frame or include some trees framing the moon to one side or the other or both. A building would also work to add interest. Since it will happen in the west early you might be able to get some shots off with the horizon still lit some or anything else you choose to frame the photo still lit with some ambient lighting from the setting sun.
If you have a tripod use it, it makes making changes to the camera setting easier while maintaining the composition. also makes for a sharper shot as speeds approch 1/60.
another thing to try is to take some shots of the moon, exposing for that alone, then take some shots of backgrounds without the moon in the shot and paste the moon into it using photoshop or some other editing software. Many have a "magic lasso" type tool and just by right-clicking on the moon the software will create a decent cut because of the high contrast between the moon and the background sky. then take the cut image of the moon and paste it into another shot. With a little trial and effort it can be fairly easy to do and that way each component will be exposed properly. Since the moon is so bright its very hard to expose both background and moon in one shot properly if you want any detail in either.
Give it a shot if you have some clearing in the clouds and lets see the results. We could then discuss the entries and folks could learn a few tricks to shooting the moon, it can both fun and challenging.