August 20, 2008
Not an Eclipse
image by Stefanos Sofologis, Skiathos Island, Greece
A day after the recent lunar eclipse I felt the heat of the August evening was too much for me to stay in town. I noted the time and azimuth of the Moon rise, grabbed my little refractor, SLR and car keys and left. Ten minutes later I was on a hill next to a little spring, with an unlimited view to the sea and the nearby Island of Skopelos. The place was cool and peaceful so I set up to photograph the Moon rise. But wait a minute... the Moon should have risen a minute ago behind a distant hill of Skopelos. Where is it? Anyway my altitude should have compensated for the altitude of that hill 14 km away and the Moon should have been visible by now... Another minute later she was up in a modest glory. Dark, barely visible - half visible to be precise - but dressed in red and as beautiful as ever. It wasn’t the hills that hid her, it was the lowest, humid levels of the atmosphere. It was like coming out of an invisible envelope. The actual altitude of the Moon when it half-appeared was just 1.5° over the horizon (photo). In the past I have seen it rising directly from the water (standing at a different point of Skiathos) but only once or twice and under very dry conditions. A 1,5° low Moon is less rare to see. Rare or not, I was thrilled to see it passing from invisible to visible this way. It was a fine moment...
17 Aug 2008. Vixen ED81S f/7.7 + Canon EOS 400D at 1/2 sec, ISO 200, Neutral mode; unprocessed.
Yesterday's LPOD: An LPOD First (And Last)
Tomorrow's LPOD: Howard's Atlas