Images enlarge with a click. And some are even worth the trouble.
Thanks yet again to Blackholes and Astrostuff because while I'd have probably popped out tonight to peek at the full moon and have been delighted by my moon shadow, I'd not have known what a special moon it was without Bob's blog. Well, Bob first, and then several emails from friends who know I'm interested in things like the moon coming as close to the Earth as it will be for another 8 years. Read all about it at EarthSky.Org.
Extra close moons happen when the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest point to Earth for the month, an event called ‘perigee’ by astronomers.
But when a full moon coincides with perigee, the sun, Earth and moon make a line in space. The moon’s orbit stretches closer to Earth. So the coincidence of perigee and full moon brings the moon closer to Earth than at any other phase. By the way, the sun’s varying distance also influences the moon’s distance. Because we’re closest to the sun around New Year’s Day, the closest full moon perigees always occur at the beginning or the end of the year.
Joining me for the moonrise at St. Mary Magdalene's cemetery tonight was the doe in the photo and montage below. Notice how all the photos of her are saturated with yellow/gold. I didn't have time to adjust my camera for her. She was bathed in the light from the setting sun. I'm not sure I could have corrected much for that fabulous horizontal light. Actually, there were quite a few deer about. They huffed at me until well after dark. Some cows were trying to get home too and it took them awhile to gather up the courage to race by me which is funny considering how far from me they were.
I did turn the camera around briefly to shoot what was going on behind me and tried to catch Jupiter and Venus--you can just barely see Venus.
And, here it is, the full moon rising at perigee--well, a couple of hours after its absolute closest point to earth--but still! Don DiLego's "Ghost" seemed appropriate for shots taken at a cemetery. I know some of them are quite blurry, sorry, the light is changing so rapidly at that time of day that it's hard to adjust the exposure quickly enough to keep up with the shifting light. The sunlight is dimming fast and the moonlight is increasing even faster. Tricky shooting for a camera dummy like myself.
But wait, there's more! Bob mentioned sun dogs and moon halos in His Last Blog Entry and I realized, hey, I could probably get that with my camera. Perhaps not well but that's not the point. Wouldn't you know that right after I finished this blog entry and finally finished putting my perigee pix all over the net (yes, my elbows ache like crazy and the outsides of my hands are going numb) that I popped back outside to see the moon one last time and, WOW, there was the most enormous halo around the moon. Woot! It took up such a huge portion of the sky that my camera couldn't even get it into frame. You wouldn't know it by these photos, but I swear it was pretty.