The 2013 Super and Mini Moon Together in One Photo

by Nancy Atkinson on December 20, 2013

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A composition of the nearest and farthest 2013 full moons, with the SuperMoon of June on the left and the MiniMoon of December on the right. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

A composition of the nearest and farthest 2013 full moons, with the SuperMoon of June on the left and the MiniMoon of December on the right. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca from Pisa, Tuscany, Italy managed to capture two of the very ‘special’ full Moons from 2013 and created a comparative mosaic. Here is both the 2013 “SuperMoon” in June – when the Moon is the closest to Earth in its orbit and visually largest – and the recent December 2013 “MiniMoon” — the most distant and visually smallest Full Moon of the year.

“I was amazed, to say the least, from the actual difference!” Petricca told Universe Today via email. “The motto ‘It’s not that evident until you, by yourself, get to notice it!’ applies perfectly to this situation.

While with naked eye, the full Moon seems about the same size every month, the difference in its visual size is clearly visible via pictures. Of course, the Moon itself doesn’t change size, it’s just how big or small it appears in the sky due to the eccentricities in its orbit around Earth.

The two pictures were both taken at the same focal length, with a simple non reflex camera, a Nikon P90, on tripod, with matching ISO speed and exposure, at ISO 100, f5.0, 1/200″. Both taken from Pisa, Tuscany, Italy.

You can read all about the recent “MiniMoon” here, and find out more about the mechanics of the “SuperMoon” here.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Rob Sparks December 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM

The difference isn’t quite as large, but you can do the same thing with the Sun. Earlier this year, I took a picture of the Sun when the Earth at farthest away back in July. I am going to do the same thing in early January when we are closest to the Sun. I expect to easily be able to tell the difference…oh, and I am using a Canon 60D with 75-300mm zoom lens and solar filter…not even a telescopes! Look for that pic in a few weeks!

NancyAtkinson December 20, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Yes, Rob, please do share!

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