Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Friday, November 20, 2009

Newest Moon

Newest Moon, originally uploaded by ms4jah.

Photographer's note:

"Newest Moon

For a long time I've wanted to get a shot just like this of the brand new moon, waxing crescent, on the first day that it's visible after sunset. Here it is about 2% illuminated by sunlight (and 98% by earthshine!) The blip of light, with slight vibration blur is Venus.

It's reltively common to see the crescent moon a few days after sunset and to see those pix. But it's harder to catch that little sliver of the first visible new moon.

I used to have some gorgeous pix of a beautiful clear sky with sunset twilight colors but the moon would be so high in the sky, if visible at all, that I couldn't zoom in on the moon AND capture the horizon with its beautiful colors. So then I realized the thing to to is to try to capture the twighlight colors when the moon is very low, and brand 'new'. A number of factors have to come together, like extra clear skies for one thing, but you have to be out at precisely that one or maybe 2 days at the most per month when this is possible, at sunset time. And you better have a good view of the horizon because the moon will be so low it is normally blocked by things like trees and buildings.

This photo here shows the full disk of the dark side of the moon lit up with earthshine, the light that reflects off the earth onto the moon, just light our night sky is lit up by moon shine when we have a full bright moon. You can even just barely make out the light and dark features on the face of the moon, I love that part. (may need to view large.)

One of the other great things about my job is that it is an outdoor job. We are always in the outdoors to experience and appreciate the many beautiful celestial / astronomical events and other atmospheric optical phenomena. After the flight, as the sun goes down and we are surrounded by darkness, usually in a wide open space area, we get to enjoy the many wonders of the creation around us. We often hear a pack of coyotes howling and barking. Now all I need to do is to capture that coyote, sitting on a large boulder, howling up at the moon."

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