Astrophoto: The Gorgeous Colors of a Setting Quarter Moon

Article written: 16 Jul , 2013
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
by

When I looked out my south-facing window last night, I saw a gorgeous quarter Moon high in the sky. Giuseppe Petricca from Marina di Pisa, Tuscany, Italy took a longer look and created this beautiful composition of five different shots of the Moon on July 15, 2013, revealing how the appearance of the Moon changes as it sinks lower in the sky.

“These are the colours that our natural satellite assumes thanks to the Rayleigh Scattering in Earth’s atmosphere,” Guiseppe said via email. He noted that in his image, colors of the single shots are not digitally altered (except with a light Sharpness Mask to enhance the surface details.)

Guiseppe used a Nikon P90 bridge digital camera, at ISO 100, and used various but limited exposition times (trying to maintain a short medium exposition range in seconds, he said. His mosaic composed with Photoshop.

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Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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1 Response

  1. cschur says

    Very interesting article Nancy! Very seldom do we see images that highlight the changes the earths atmosphere can make to the setting sun and moon. I find this set very intriguing in that at my altitude of 7000 feet, I do not see such colors at the rise and set of the moon, just pure white. Sea level has some advantages for photographers!

    Chris Schur

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