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Alan K | all galleries >> South Of Sydney >> On The Beach - Shots From The Illawarra Beaches > 20210427_174052_P4270030 Supermoon - Longer Exposure
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27-Apr-2021 AKMC

20210427_174052_P4270030 Supermoon - Longer Exposure

Thirroul Beach, Illawarra, NSW view map

A supermoon occurs when there is a full moon or a new moon while the moon is more than 90% toward its closest point to the Earth, also known as its perigee. The result is that the apparent size of the lunar disk is slightly greater when viewed from Earth. Supermoons only occur periodically because of the interaction between the Earth's orbit around the sun, and the Moon's orbit around the Earth. The difference in size between a supermoon and a regular moon can be up to 14% with a difference in brightness up to 30%, but this is not as much as it sounds when you're just using the naked eye and aren't a regular moon watcher.

The alleged supermoon rose just after 05:30. In reality the moon's closest approach to Earth was still a few hours off, so it had yet to reach its largest size. Also, there's an optical illusion which makes the moon look huge as it comes up over the horizon in the right circumstances which would have included THIS moonrise... had it not been for the near perpetual band of cloud that sits right off the Illawarra coast smack bang on the horizon. That means that sunrises and moonrises are often obscured, and we don't get to see the moon until it's in a higher (and less visually impressive) position.

Another optical illusion is the apparent red colour of the moon near the horizon. When that happens its light is scattered by having to pass through more of the atmosphere, resulting in a reddish colour. This is a sign of optics, not the apocalypse. Part of that was also lost because the moon didn't appear until it was significantly into the sky.

Still, the apparent size and redness was a little more than normal. I used various different exposures to try to capture the detail of the moon's surface (so that they weren't blown out by highlights) while still allowing some of the beach and sea to be visible. This one is a longer exposure, resulting in a brighter moon.

(There is a red dot near the horizon about 45 degrees to the right of the moon. I checked my astronomy program and couldn't find anything that corresponded with that. It may be the lights of a cargo ship, which is obscured by the mist on the horizon. Or it may be a Type 26 Flying Saucer from the constellation Reticulum. You can make your own call on that.)

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Julie Oldfield30-Apr-2021 00:21
Incredible capture of that moon. I think it’s a ufo. V
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