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Notice the white spot in the far left near the edge of the moon -- that is the Aristarchus Crater. A very bright spot on the moon where most Transient Lunar Phenomenon events occur.
Just over a year ago, I was using a 10" Celestron telescope while looking at the moon during the earthshine phase -- which is when the darkside of the New Moon is illuminated by earth shine for a few days, and I noticed a mysterious glowing blue spot on the moon that I discovered later was the Aristarchus Crater.
This blue glowing spot was much brighter than any part of the darkside of the moon and I was amazed at what could cause such a glowing spot on the moon. My wife also saw it -- so it was not some optical illusion with the telescope.
Curious, I googled the words "blue glow on the moon" and found several links that ranged from "lunar out-gassing events" to a secret "nuclear-fusion power station" operated by Aliens.
After about the third night of the New Moon, the bright crescent side of the moon washes out any viewing opportunity of the site.
Anyway, for over a year now, I have seen this mysterious phenomenon almost every month and still wonder what kind of energy is causing this lunar mystery. I have a few theories -- is anybody else curious about this event?
There's nothing wrong with doing Moon photos but the excitement over so-called supermoons is ridiculous. If you assume that a 50mm camera lens non a full-frame camera accurately reflects what the eye sees, then the visual difference between a full Moon at its furthest distance and a "supermoon" is less than the difference between using a 50mm lens and a 58mm lens to shoot it.
As Angelina inadvertantly pointed out - what matters in shooting the Moon is having a big telephoto lens (and, frequently, good Photoshop skills), not whether it is a apogee or perigee. So if you want to do Moon photos, don't think that it makes any difference whether of not it is a "supermoon" - which means that you have many more opportunities to get that great picture than the excitement over supermoons suggests.
I kept my eye on the clouds this afternoon and was thrilled when both Mount Rainier and the moon poked above them at sunset:
To Paul's point, the moon looks like any other moon in my photo since I went for the wide landscape to capture the sunset colors. But there is a general excitement among people at the idea of the "super moon".
This was taken around 9 PM local time on June 22nd. According to the astronomical websites, the official super full moon in the Austin Texas area was 6:33 AM the following morning, on June 23rd, when the moon was almost set and behind clouds. Why did I get up so early?
I forget where I read it - but there was something about the moon is the size of a dime held at arms length - no matter how large it may appear - the moon is NOT larger than it ever is.
I saw it last night and this morning when I went out for my walk. I still have not figured out how to take a pic of the moon when it is so bright that it is almost a silver disk. I've taken it with a little 'fog' in the air and it works - but with a clean sky - all I get is a white blob.
I wanted to catch it coming over the horizon, but it stayed behind the clouds last night. The best shots, IMO, are those that put the moon in perspective to the surroundings...lighthouse, church steeple, etc.
Roy - I got some shots last night with my 200mm Vivitar M42, at ISO 200 it worked great at f8 and 1/500 shutter speed. I took some hand held and a couple on a tripod before the mosquitoes ran me off, nothing good enough to upload though. Don't think I can upload right now anyway due to the bad gateway thing.
You have to meter on the moon itself rather than the background since it's much brighter than the surrounding sky, so the center spot metering I use works great if I want to let the camera do it, I usually go with manual and start at 1/250 and f8 then go from there. I took some shots at ISO100, still on the camera, and I think 1/350 was the same approximate exposure. I've been able to get shutter speeds up to 1/750 before and get good exposures...the slow shutter speeds you might expect will always result in the moon being blinding bright, and usually still a black background...so you get a blown out white spot and a black sky...what I haven't figured out is how to get clouds to show up on a cloudy night...
I also need to dig up the shots I got last year at its closest approach in thousands of years, and some "normal" shots, it should show a difference, if shot with the same lens from the same approximate location, although any location on this planet can probably be considered the same approximate location...
I've seen some comparison shots, you can see a definite difference in two shots taken at normal distance and any close approach. You can see this at this site
I got a decent shot in the afternoon once with my 300 mm...that said, it was cloudy here last night. Going to look again tonight, but I'm not holding my breath. Thanks, for the tips Loree and Rich, I'll set the camera before I go out.
I was driving home from work one night about 7:30 pm (eastern time zone) and the road I was on pointed directly at where the evening moon was coming up. There was some atmospheric condition going on that made the moon look the largest I've ever seen it. I was trying not to run into the car ahead of me staring at this absolutely HUGE moon. Of course, I live 50 miles from the office, so by the time I got home there was nothing unusual about it. I got on line and found something about that atmospheric effect (which I can't remember), but I've never seen it look that big since. It was almost freakish....
Thank you Rebecca -- I have tried viewing the crater area during the earthshine phase with a smaller telescope (3") but could not see the glowing spot very well. A bigger telescope will reveal the phenomenon up to 3 or 4 days after the first New Moon crecent.
The cause may be related to "glowing lunar dust fountains" believed by some scientist -- in fact, the LADEE mission (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) is set to launch this fall to investigate lunar events like this.
Anyway, thanks again for your response.
And sorry Craig for stepping on your post with my lunar story. This Super Full Moon is a unique event and our cameras are pointed at it;)
@Rebecca -- update, yes (I use the same calendar link) perhaps even on the 12th weather permitting.
For those still interested in getting a shot tonight, fellow FAA-er Frank Feliciano has an excellent blog post about photographing the moon that I found very easy to understand. I don't think he'll mind if I link to it from here.
Here's the link:
http://fineartamerica.com/blogs/shooting-the-moon.html well it's supposed to be a link - copy and paste if it doesn't convert to a link.