This month’s full moon promised to be a good one, as the moon’s slightly elliptical orbit around the Earth would combine the close-point of this elongated oval with the moon being perfectly round in the night sky.
This means when the moon is close to the horizon, both rising and setting, it looks larger than normal, because (1) – the moon IS a bit closer with the wobbly orbit, and (2) the atmospheric distortion magnifies this phenomena.
The layman’s term for this is a SuperMoon. A bigger than normal, bright man-in-the-mo0n face staring down at us plebes on the planet.
Can you say: Photo-op?
I took a look at the celestial charts – the Full Moon was due to appear on November 14th – Monday. Now – if I’d read a bit better – I’d have found that the moon would reach optimum ‘fullness’ on the 14th, all right – but a lot closer to moon-set (4 am-ish) than moon-rise (5 pm-ish).
I missed the Sunday evening rising – which (so I heard after the fact) was spectacular.
**Cue the frustration of the Photographic Muse**
I soothed Ms. Shutter-bug Muse by reminding her that the Full Moon is, technically, a 3 night event – and that we could still get stellar shots on Monday Night – which we’d planned for.
**roll the clock ahead 24 hrs, please**
Monday night, after work. A quick dash home to grab camera & gear, an even quicker run to the parking structure downtown. Set up my perch on the 4th floor – a fairly high vantage point over the city with a nearly unobstructed view of East/North-east and completely open to the night sky. Some quickie shots to settle available light vs. sensor settings.
Aaaaand – we wait. Moonrise was supposed to be 5:06 pm in Waukesha. It’s now probably quarter to six, and the horizon is still woefully orb-free. I know what this means –
Heavy cloud cover – and an overwhelming amount of haze – are hiding the object of my photographic desire…
**Muse frustration-take II**
Rather than get discouraged with the lack-o-moonie – I rolled the camera around, snapping some interesting shots of the night city-scape from my vantage point. The moon did, eventually, attempt to make an appearance – shoving some errant beams of light through the cloud cover, and I dutifully snapped up shots of the effort – just because.
Then I packed things away – and returned to life at the grocery store.
Adding insult to injury – the kids mentioned Tuesday night that when THEY went to the grocery store, the moon was out, in all it’s Super-glory, low in the sky and not a freaking cloud in sight. I – managed to get myself stuck in traffic for the event.
Better luck next time, eh?