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01-Feb-2014 Jim Stiles


Snohomish, Washington

Wet Moon / Cheshire Moon
Waxing Crescent at 7.4%

A wet moon (also called a Cheshire moon) is a lunar phase when the "horns" of the crescent moon point up at an angle, away from the horizon, so the moon's crescent takes on the appearance of a bowl or a smile. A wet moon occurs when the crescent moon is near the horizon at a point more or less directly above the sun's (invisible) position below the horizon. This in turn is determined by the earth's and moon's positions in their orbits, the inclination of these orbits relative one another and to the earth's axis, and observer's latitude on the earth. Wet moons occur routinely in the tropics (where the sun and moon rise and set nearly vertically), and rarely in polar regions (where the sun and moon rise and set at a glancing angle or not at all).

I spotted the moon this evening on my way back home after an afternoon of photographing short eared owls in Stanwood, Washington. I selected a place to shoot from in the Snohomish River Valley and had some fun getting many shots of the moon setting. The partially lit portion of the moon is lighted by the light of the earth reflecting off the lunar surface, also known as "earth shine".

I also shot a 4.75 minute video of the setting moon that I'll post on YouTube later.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III ,Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
0.6s f/8.0 at 1400.0mm iso3200
Stacked 2.0 and 1.4 Tele-extenders full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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Michael Edwards03-Feb-2014 02:39
Excellent work, Jim.
hal 02-Feb-2014 23:39
A marvellous image Jim, made more so by your
expert description of the scene. Many thanks.
Sally 02-Feb-2014 20:36
Wonderful work Jim. I found this very interesting.
Terry_O02-Feb-2014 16:44
Thanks for the info, Jim. - Amazing work!!!!
Janice Dunn02-Feb-2014 08:23
I just learnt something them Jim, and what a stunning image this is