Last night, the moon passed through Earth's shadow in a partial lunar eclipse, overnight in what was the longest eclipse of its kind in 580 years. Senior Hayden Hanke, who began attending Walker in 7th Grade, photographed this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Hayden woke up at 3 a.m. to capture the eclipse from his cul-de-sac. While a lunar eclipse will happen again in our lifetime, one of this length will not occur again until 2669.
During quarantine in 2020, Hayden developed a hobby of astrophotography after capturing a picture of the moon on his phone. He began taking pictures through a child’s telescope or through binoculars before upgrading to a large telescope and a DSLR camera. Hayden did not have a background in photography before quarantine so he said there was a big learning curve. He researched on YouTube and reached out to other astrophotographers to learn how to best capture celestial events.
When asked why he likes astrophotography, Hayden said, “It’s like sightseeing in my front yard. I want to travel and see the world, but there are so many things in the sky. It’s also very peaceful and has changed my perspective of the world.”
This quarantine hobby turned into a passion after taking astronomy with Dr. Brady, who supports Hayden and loves to see his pictures and hear about his experiences. Before Hayden received his current telescope, Dr. Brady let him borrow one from the school to take photos.
One of Hayden’s favorite things about Dr. Brady and Walker, in general, is how supportive the teachers are of his passion. “The teachers at Walker care about what you do,” Hayden said; “They are caring and devoted to forming relationships with their students.”
Hayden is the leader of the Astronomy Club at Walker. He also plays lacrosse. He plans to pursue a career in Environmental Science after graduation. Through his astrophotography and science classes at Walker, he has gained a love of the Earth.