Here is my contribution to the science of astronomy for the recording of the November 14, 2016
'supermoon.' The photograph was actually taken at 8:45 pm EST, which technically was a few hours ahead
of the formal full moon (8:52 am). Notice on the eastern edge you can see the outline of craters. Full
moon photos are typically the least impressive because with the sun shining nearly straight down on
the surface, there are no shadows cast by the ridges of the craters. Contrast is also at a minimum because
the image is so bright - like when the sun is reflecting blindingly off the object
(which it is doing from the moon).
My photographic equipment was bare-bones minimal with just a
Nikon D3300 DSLR camera body and a
Nikon Nikkor 55-200mm telephoto lens (bought on sale as a
package deal at Sam's Mart). Exposure and f-stop were set to automatic, and I needed to do a
manual focus because the sensor couldn't find the sweet spot with such a bright point in the center
of the field. The camera was placed on a tripod and the automatic shutter timer set for 2 seconds to
avoid shaking from a manual button push. The only processing done to the image was sharpening and contrast
adjustment. It was cut out from a 4,000x6,000 raw image, with no size adjustment.
According to Internet sources, the fist use of the term 'supermoon' was during the full moon of March
19, 2011. At 221,524 miles distant, this November 14, 2016, supermoon is only 41 miles closer than the
2011 supermoon (221,565 miles). The last time the full moon was this close was January 14, 1930
miles), and the next time that it will be closer is November 25, 2034, (221,485 miles). The closest
full moon of the 21st century will fall on December 6, 2052 (221,472 miles).
These excerpts from the March 7th and 9th, 1970 "Evening Capital" newspaper were
gotten from my subscription to Newspapers.com. Check out the car prices!
If a supermoon were to occur (it won't) during next year's
total solar eclipse in North America
(August 21, 2017), the period of totality would be noticeably longer than the scheduled event. I plan
to be in the Greenville, South Carolina area to view the eclipse (the kids live in Greensboro, NC).
IF I live so long (I'll be 65), believe it or not on
April 8, 2024, another total solar eclipse will run right through Erie, Pennsylvania,
and in fact my house is within 2 miles of the center of the path of totality!
The last time I saw a solar eclipse where the sky got noticeably dark was on March 6, 1970, when
I was 11 years old, living in Mayo, Maryland. According to the excerpts from the Evening Capital
newspaper (where my father,
Art, was the classified advertising department
manager), we got a 95% eclipse, which did not result in a totally dark sky. My sixth-grade teacher
had us make a pinhole in a piece of aluminum foil to look through when we were taken out to the school
yard around 1:40 in the afternoon, according to the newspaper timeline.
Posted November 13, 2016