I love astronomy. There’s nothing to give you a sense of perspective than staring up at the stars and realising just how old the light that’s reaching your eye right that second is. The vast distance in both time and space. The gigantic sizes involved. Then remembering that all matter in the universe, including you and me and the cat and our mobiles and the garbage bag and the works of Picasso and of course Picasso himself and everything in between, was all born from stars. We’re made of stars. Out there is what our nursery looked like. And our moon is some of the debris, just like us.
Tonight, on my upside-down side of the world, we were treated to a partial eclipse of the moon. A partial eclipse is where just a little bit of the earth gets between the sun and the moon, so the earth’s shadow falls across the moon. This is relatively rare because the sun is big and the earth is not and the universe moves in three dimensions. It differs from the dark new moon as at those times, the moon is between us and the sun.
Some thoughts of photographing the moon:
– the moon is surprisingly bright. Use spot metering function on your camera to correctly expose your image, otherwise you’ll have a blown-out white circle
– a tripod really, really helps
– if your lens has image stabilisation or vibration reduction, turn it off. The slight motion of the motors adjusting your focus will mean you lose precious lunar detail
The best photos of the moon are usually silhouetting something of interest. I haven’t found something appropriate near me yet, but I haven’t stopped looking either. I’d also like to try exposing for the red shadow, but I totally forgot about that at the time.
Oh, and I got a great big bite on my bum. The local mozzies clearly aren’t very appreciative of moderately rare astral phenomenon.