Monday, 4 December 2017

A Supermoon morning

The full moon of 3rd December was a "supermoon", the only one of 2017. A supermoon occurs when the moon's elliptical orbit brings it to the closest point (perigee) of an elliptical orbit. At perigee, the full moon can appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a "regular" full moon.  The night had been clear and certainly well illuminated, but perhaps the most striking view we got was when the moon was setting beyond the hills behind our house.

The proximity to ground objects made the moon seem even larger as it appeared to rest in the crowns of a stand of larch trees, we could clearly see the movement as it passed the trees to drop below the ridge at 0748.  Shining through a corona in the cold air close to the ground in a beautiful wash of light, it was quite a spectacular, if perhaps not quite as stunning as the "blood moon" during the lunar eclipse on the winter solstice of  2010 - what a sight that was!

Meanwhile, at our backs the eastern sky was washed with pre-dawn pinks and golds.  What a super supermoon morning, another virtuoso natural performance!


  1. Nice photos Ian. I managed to get a good clear one a few days before the super moon event that looked really big but one taken on the night/morning itself was a very cloudy damp squib effort.

  2. Thanks Bob, it was noticeably larger and brighter than a "regular" full moon. I missed a trick in not getting out on a hill through the night - it was like daylight

  3. Wow, that was a performance indeed! We looked out towards the rising supermoon, but overcast obscured the drama we had anticipated. Later that night, however, Orion shone out...the first time we had seen these special stars this season.

    1. It was a clear night with us D & J, and the moon so bright that images were burning out until it dipped into the ground mist.....just super!