Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Super Moon Over Boston

Super Moon Over Boston. Shot with my Nikon at approx. 600mm. Clear skies last night! #perigee

The moon passed within 221,567 miles of the earth on March 19th. That's closer than it's been in over 18 yrs. Known as the Perigee Moon when the moon is closest to earth in its orbit, this moon has been dubbed the Super Moon, as perigee also coincided with the full moon. The resulting lunar spectacle was 14% larger and 20% brighter than when at lunar apogee.

NASA has a more complete explanation and video online.

With clear weather forecast I decided to try and get a photo of this once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon. Not owning any super-telephoto lenses I had to improvise.

My 80-200mm zoom wouldn't really cut it as 221 thousand miles is a long way away. Combining my 2x teleconverter and the 1.5 crop factor of the Nikon D300 yielded an effective 600mm focal length.

The moon is surprisingly bright in the night sky and as it rises higher above the horizon it increases in brightness. I was able to get proper exposure at f5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/200th sec.

A sturdy tripod and some further cropping in post produced the view of the moon above. The incredibly beautiful orb that orbits our terrestrial home.