Super Moon Rising

Marty CohenCarmel Valley Ranch, Full Moon, Moonrise20 Comments

Be sure to scroll down as there are 3 photos in this blog post.

May 5, 2012 – The Super Moon rises over Carmel Valley

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

A “Super Moon” is a full moon that looks especially large. The moon appears that large because it is as much as 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the other full moons of 2012. This occurs when the moon reaches its closest spot to the Earth at the same time it is in its full phase. The moon takes an elliptical path around the Earth with one side, or perigee, about 31,000 miles closer than the other, or apogee. As such, this is also called a “perigee moon.”

As a full moon rises, it often appears to be orange in color. The reason for this is that as it is rising, the light from the sun must pass through the most Earth’s atmosphere as it illuminates the rising moon. Some of the blue part of the spectrum gets filtered out by the Earth’s atmosphere. Then the light has to come back through the atmosphere to get to your eye. This last trip causes some reddening color change to the moon. As the moon rises further, the moon’s light passes through less of the Earth’s atmosphere and the color begins to disappear.

May 5, 2012 – The Super Moon 20 minutes after moonrise in Carmel Valley.

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Super Moon at 35 minutes after moonrise in Carmel Valley.

May 5, 2012 – The Super Moon 35 minutes after moonrise in Carmel Valley.

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

(Scroll down, or, click the Title of the post and scroll down to leave a comment.)

There were no artificial modifications of the size of the moon relative to the hillside. It really looked that large! All the photos were taken with a Canon EOS 40D, Sigma APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens. The top photo was at 164mm, 0.7 sec at f/16, ISO 400. The middle image was at 403mm, 0.3 sec at f/16, ISO 400. The bottom photo was taken at 500mm, 1/20 sec at f/19, ISO 400. With these type of photographs, I certainly learned to appreciate the value of my tripod and cable release.

20 Comments on “Super Moon Rising”

  1. Gorgeous shots. Thanks! It was overcast here in Austin so we didn’t get to see the super moon for real. The shots over Carmel Valley, a much more beautiful setting.

  2. Nice; really like the first one with the partial moon lighting up the valley. We had to many tall firs around our house to get the red moon.

  3. We were wishing for good photos as we observed the super moon much too long after moonrise. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous shots and for the concise explanation. Jonah was asking about the color last night and now I know just where to send him!

    1. Thank you Mary. That you like my photographs means a great deal to me given the very special work you, Justin and Jonah create. For those of you who will read these comments, I want to provide the link to Infinity Arts Gallery. What they create is very special and I know you will enjoy taking a look at it.

  4. Sharon and I were at a ‘Cinco de Mayo’ party last eve when the moon came over the Catalina Mountains. Two friends took shots of the moon. Of course, none of their pics were as ‘super’ as yours. is it possible to forward your 3 ‘super moon’ set to the 5 couples who attended the party? Marc

  5. I think I’ve spent a lot of my life facing west and witnessing many beautiful sunsets, so it is still amazing to me to see sunrises and in particular moonrises. I truly have a new and deeper appreciation of the moon after seeing how beautiful it was last night . . . and you caught that beautiful color and some of that super “moon glow.” Fantastic!

    1. Thanks Bee. I was up at a turnout off off Carmel Valley Road about 1/2 mile before you get to Garland Park. It’s a great place to view the moonrise (and, I suspect a sunrise, although I haven’t checked that out yet).

  6. Awesome shot Marty! Thanks for the explanation as well. I’ve seen a “Super Moon” before but never understood why it happened or that it had a name.

    1. We were out on Carmel Valley Road with about 10 other people who showed up to shoot the moonrise from this pullout off the road. Glad you liked them.

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