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Almost Full Moon at Almost Perigee

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Almost Full Moon at Almost Perigee
« on: January 30, 2010, 10:34:06 PM »

It was a cold night, and I almost didn’t take my camera outside. The moon was simply stunning, hanging bright and low over the neighbors’ houses. It is one day past full, as evidenced by the relief on the upper edge, and one day past its perigee. Last night, it was 50,000 km closer to Earth than any other full moon this past year, and it was 30% brighter than a typical full moon.

Tonight, it’s a little further away and a little less bright, but still quite outstanding.

These photos were shot with a Canon Digital Rebel XT using a 75-300mm lens zoomed all the way out. Focus was manual. I used a self-timer to reduce camera shake. Exposure times ranged from 1/60th of a second to 1/4th. Several exposures were further reduced digitally. The images were overlaid and blended together to bring out details, such as Tycho’s Crater (prominent O with bright rays on the right) and Copernicus Crater (the bright home-plate looking feature about halfway across the surface of the moon, even with Tycho’s Crater). Even Plato’s Crater is visible as a dark circular patch in an otherwise bright limb near the left edge of the moon, on the opposite side of the Mare Imbrium (sea of rains) from Copernicus Crater. The lonely dark area at the top of the moon is Mare Crisium (the sea of crisis), and just below it is Mare Tranquillitatis (the sea of tranquility, where man first walked on the moon).

I also tried to be artistic by shooting the moon through the bare branches of the trees across the street.

I had to take out almost all color from this shot as there was copious chromatic noise and purple fringing. The resulting image is hauntingly pale and stark, like this cold, cold night under the light of the almost full moon.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey


Offline CactusFlower

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Re: Almost Full Moon at Almost Perigee
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 10:36:47 PM »
So neat!  Good night for night hiking, with so much light!


Offline Goldilocks

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Re: Almost Full Moon at Almost Perigee
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 11:13:10 PM »
It's been overcast here and I missed it.  :icon_cry:

Great shots, Jeff! Thank you!


Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Almost Full Moon at Almost Perigee
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 11:26:08 PM »
not trying to steal your thunder Jeff...... its always cool to go look at this stuff

I put this together a few years ago, 1 regular moon shot and 1 largest full moon shot. Its an overlay of 2 full moon images roughly the same position in the sky but several months apart. As you can see there is a difference in size from the Largest Full moon of the year, and the regular full moon.

to the naked eye you will never notice the size difference, and rarely notice the brightness difference.

to see a larger version, click here

everything is better with bacon!!!



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