Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A 'Super' Moon

 I'll show you the final photo first. It ought to be enough to get your attention. This is the "Super Moon" or "Perigee Moon" on March 19. This shot is enhanced (the final picture in this series shows the shot as it was taken). I wanted to bring out the beautiful colors ... the vivid orange of the moon, the slight clouds lit from behind (which took on a similar glow), the black woods against the purple-blue sky.

 As the moon began to rise (8:09 pm), It began to show itself behind the "Shell Farm" which is east of Pinehaven and on Venus Road (Jackson Twp.). It's about half a mile from here. The moon had the color of a blood orange and was a rather startling apparition when seen shining through the tree line.

 Can you imagine never having seen the moon before and have this orange thing approaching you from the east? It'd certainly be time to turn tail and run! I like the single lit window in the old farmhouse and the truck parked in the yard. You know there are people going about their lives, enjoying their Saturday evening there.

 Now, from my south lawn, I see the moon rising both behind the distant tree line and also behind trees which are in my own yard. This shot has a Halloween feel, I think.

 Finally the moon has cleared the trees and hangs starkly in the open sky. It is not clear - there is a slight haze in the atmosphere and gathering clouds have already obscured the moon by the time I went to bed (10 pm). The moon was the closest to earth than it has been in 18 years (221,565 miles at 3 pm EDT, just 50 minutes after the moon was full). It was said to be 14% larger and 30% brighter than other full moons.

 In fact, I saw little difference. The moon always impresses me. I took the picture above on March 16, just three days before the super moon and it was as impressive as could be, even with the hazy atmosphere. The craters are smoothed out by both the "front on" light and by the thin clouds. Even so, it was an impressive sight.