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March 20, 2011


P.S. I should have acknowledged that the moon, by the time I took the posted photo, had passed its perigee. (Picky, picky!)

Lovely!!! I hardly ever see the moon or stars these day. Living in the city does that.

Kay--Lack of sky view is a problem for city dwellers, for sure. I remember how clear the skies used to be on the farm. Now...farms have so many lights that they shed light pollution. Night flying was once simple - one just looked for the cities to tell where one was. Now, there are no black "spaces" left between cities.

We have a clear space (about 1/3 acre) behind the house, the clear space being surrounded on three sides by trees/woods; thus, we have a pretty good view, for now, of a patch of sky. There are a couple of houses across the creek from us, but they are far enough away and situated such that they don't normally obstruct our sky view. Development is in the planning stage over there.

Viewing from the front of our house is problematic. The neighbor across the street and down (toward the moon in the photo) from us frequently leaves bright flood lights on all night - hoping to keep armadillos from invading/tearing up his lawn. The neighbor directly across the street frequently leaves a porch light on all night (as had been the case this morning); but, fortunately, the moon was setting down the street from us at this time of year. Up the street in the other direction from us is a street light in our next-door-neighbor's yard. Between the armadillo hater and the streetlamp, my corner bedroom is flooded by light from two directions. Oh, good!

It's odd, but my photo of the perigree moon came out of the camera orange like your first photo. After I tinkered with it it was white, but I don't think I got an expecially good shot of it. I was shaking trying to hold the camera steady and should have used a tripod.

Darlene--Your observation is like mine. As I recall, the moon really did appear orange.

As to how I took the photos: The first few shots were taken with the flash enabled; thus, the exposure was short enough that any shakiness on my part was not manifest. (I was amazed that the moon stood out as bright as it did. Then, I took a few shots with the flash disabled, steadying the (very small) camera against the brick of the porch facade. In those shots, with a hugely long exposure (perhaps 3-5 seconds), the moon appears as a broad smear of light, so I didn't tinker with or post any of them.

I'm sorry that I failed to clarify that the second photo posted was more realistic in the saturation, not in the hue. I have a good program (Adobe Photoshop 7) for tinkering, which I don't use because it is so complicated that I've never taken the time to learn to use it. What I do use (because it is simple, simple, simple) is Microsoft Photo Editor.

It was cloudy at moonrise, but I went out later, around midnight I think, and the moon was so bright I could hardly look at it.
We are lucky here, because we have the big telescopes on the mountain and there are light restrictions, so even though I live right out of town I get quite a display of stars at night, if it isn't raining. We have sodium vapor street lamps and most houses have an overhang that keeps light from going upward.

I like the first picture better - regardless of whether it is a true interpretation or not. Must be the artist in me coming out :) (yeah, right - more like the kid in me saying, "ohh, pretty colors.")

Hattie--You were more dedicated than I was. When my husband told me, around 10:00 pm, that the clouds had parted but that the moon didn't look anything special, I chose to watch the news (a new activity for me - hadn't watched TV news at all until a few months ago and now usually watch the 10:00 pm news.)
I hadn't realized that you were near an observatory. How super is that?! A NOVA program visited an observatory in Hawaii, a few days/weeks ago; but, I don't know if it was "yours".

Bogie--I agree with you. Oooooh, pretty colors.

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