Archive for the ‘Moon’ Category

Unseasonable weather

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

We’ve just had the most amazing hot summer weather – at the end of March!

People got out their T shirts, shorts and sunglasses. But it’s also meant that we’ve had clear night skies. I think this month is the first time I have even seen the Moon in it’s new phase on the first day that it’s visible as well as for the next few nights. I love seeing it when it’s a tiny thin sliver that’s not even a crescent and then watching it gradually grow.

Crescent Moon with craters

Waning Moon with craters

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Waning Moon

I was hoping to be able to get a shot of the full Moon this month. We’d had lots of clear skies, so I thought there was a good chance.

I spotted it as soon as it started rising. It looked enormous and very orange, a huge fiery ball sitting on the roof of a house. Guess what! As soon as I got my camera out, it clouded over! I waited and waited hoping that the clouds would clear, but after half an hour, I gave up disappointed.

It was four days later that the temperature dropped and the sky was clear and I was able to take this shot of the waning Moon at 76% illumination. I love the way the craters show up when the sun is no longer shining full on them.

Crescent Moon

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Crescent Moon

I like watching the Moon. I meant to go out around lunchtime today to see if I could see it and forgot. It was tea time when I remembered. I opened the front door, and there it was! I didn’t even have to look for it.

I have a challenge with a friend to see who can see it first each month when it becomes visible a couple of days after the New Moon. As soon as I saw it, I sent him an email. I thought I had ‘won’ this time as I hadn’t heard from him that he’d seen it.

His reply pointed me to his blog where he has added a new page called ‘Moonspotting’. There he had logged seeing it nearly two hours before me!! Nevermind, I might win next month!

Super Moon

Friday, March 18th, 2011

This month’s full moon is called a “supermoon” because it coincides with the moon being at it’s closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbit for nearly 20 years.That makes it look huge!

Clear skies

Friday, January 21st, 2011

After a freezing cold snowy icy December, January has been a little bit warmer with a few sunny days that were a bit like Spring! It’s gone back to being cold and icy now though. It’s cold to go out, and sometimes it’s slippery underfoot, but it can look very beautiful when it’s frosty or foggy.

The other advantage to the cold weather is that it often means clear skies, so that I get a chance to take photos of the Moon. I’ve managed to capture it quite a few times this month so far, and it’s only just half way through it’s journey from new Moon through it’s first quarter, full Moon, second quarter and back to new again.

This photo was taken on the evening before the Moon was full.

A nearly full Moon

June waxing gibbous Moon

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

June waxing gibbous Moon

We’ve had some really good sunny weather for the past few weeks, which has given us some lovely clear skies. That means that I’ve been able to take photos of the Moon on lots of consecutive days!

My ambition is to get a shot of it on every day of it’s visible phases, and then to make a mosaic of them. I must be nearly there now! I must organise and collate the shots and see which days I’m missing.

Even though I’ve only got a fairly small point and shoot, and the quality of my photos aren’t as good or detailed as someone with better equipment, I’m really pleased with my results. The camera is small enough to carry everywhere with me, which I need to do because the skies can change so quickly.

I’ve had the situation where I saw the Moon in a lovely clear sky when I came out of work, but when I arrived home 10 minutes later it had clouded over, and stayed like that for the rest of the evening! Now that I have my camera with me, I stop and take some shots as soon as I see it.

Moon shots

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Full Moon

As anyone who follows my blog or my Flickr photostream will know, one of the things I love to take photos of is the Moon. I love studying it, and looking at it through binoculars, but that’s fleeting. If I take a photo of it, I’ve got a record I can go back to.

My ambition is to take a shot of the Moon on each day of it’s visible phases, and then make a mosaic of them. It’s a while since I started to do it, but our cloudy English weather has made it frustratingly difficult to do.

But during April, May and June so far, we’ve had some lovely sunny weather which has given us clear skies and I’ve managed to take shots of the Moon on quite a few days, some of them being phases that I’ve never managed to get before.

So I’m getting quite excited! The good weather has been forecast to continue, so I may achieve my goal before too long!

The photo at the top is of the last Full Moon taken at 10.30pm on 27th May, and the one below was taken at 8.30am this morning when the waning Moon is 66% illuminated, one day away from being at it’s 3rd Quarter.

Morning Moon

Full Moon at perigee

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

At last yesterday I managed to get a reasonable shot of the Moon when it was (nearly) full! It was very cold outside and there was frozen snow on my car, which had taken a lot of scraping off. So I could only stay out for a few minutes at a time before coming in to warm up and then go out and have another go.

The photo below was taken at 7.30pm, 10 hours or so before the actual moment of the Moon being completely full. But of course I won’t see that from here. It won’t rise until around 6.00pm tonight, so if it’s clear, it will be at least 12 hours past full when I see it again.

The prominent crater Tycho shows up quite well. Tycho is a lunar impact crater in the southern lunar highlands which was named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. It’s about 85 kilometers across, and has rays of impact material radiating from it. To see where Tycho is, click on the photo which will take you to my Flickr photostream where I’ve added a note to show where Tycho is. Hold your cursor over the Moon to see it.

I hope to be able to get another shot of the Moon tonight, because today it’s at perigee. This is the nearest point of the Moon’s elliptical orbit in it’s cycle, and today it will be the nearest to us this year, apart from October. It’s distance away is around 359700 km or 223510 miles.

The furthest point of the Moon’s elliptical orbit in each cycle is called the apogee. The more extreme perigees and apogees often occur around January.

Apparently January’s full Moon is called the Wolf Moon which comes from the hungry wolf packs that would howl outside the villages of Native Americans in the coldness of January.

The forecast for tonight is clear skies and very cold, so hopefully I will be able to add another day to my collection of shots of the Moon on every day of it’s visible phases.

Full Moon at perigee

I’ve found the Moon at last

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

After more than a week of cloudy, rainy skies we had a clear day with a lovely blue sky, so at last I managed to take a photo of the Moon.

I’d love to get a shot of it every day that it’s visible so that I could have a complete set of it’s different phases, but the weather often conspires against me. Hopefully over the months I can fill in the gaps to make up my collection. I know there are lots of brilliant photos available on the internet, shots taken with much better cameras than mine, but there’s something special and satisfying about taking your own photos.

Here’s one of them which I’m really pleased with. It’s not brilliant, but it’s good for a point and shoot camera. It’s a waxing, gibbous Moon 83% illuminated, 4 days away from being full. The photo was taken on the 26th January,2010 at 5.30pm.

Gibbous Moon