Red Moon Rising – 17/05/2014

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The other night, I was privileged to see one of the most incredible moon rises I’ve ever cast eyes upon. A few astronomer friends and I were at Western Heights in Dover at the tail end of a really good public observing evening arranged by the society. We had a clear view over the English Channel, with France visible in the distance. Just after midnight, the moon rose above the French horizon, reflecting in the Channel. It was the reddest, most intense ‘blood’ moon I’ve ever seen. As it rose, it gradually lightened to orange, and then finally to beige. I managed to get a few shots of it through the telescope. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a standard camera lens with me to get some shots of the incredible reflection in the sea.

this effect is caused by the moonlight passing through densely water and particulate-saturated air (over the sea), and is a similar effect to that you get on a nice red sunset. Not as common to see it on the moon though!

Suffice to say, this capped off a really good night of observing and planetary imaging, and was a completely unexpected bookend to the night 

These shots are the true colours we saw…

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