Friday Fotos: Magnificent Supermoon rising

June 21, 2013

supermoonSummer in the northern hemisphere officially began at 1:04 a.m. EDT Friday, June 21 (5:04 am UT).

National Geographic explains during this season, the Earth’s northern axis is slightly tilted toward the sun so that the northern hemisphere gets more direct sunlight and experiences warmer temperatures. Locations south of the equator are tilted away from the sun, so that the sunlight is dispersed, making for colder temperatures.

For skywatchers on the first day of the new season and a few days afterward the sun appears to rise at the same place on the horizon – hence the origin of the word solstice, meaning ‘sun stands still’ in Latin.

Supermoon this weekend

June Solstice also offers some amazing moon visuals. says in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 2013, the moon will reach perigee — the closest point to Earth in the rocky satellite’s orbit around the planet. Although some people have suggested that the supermoon might drive people crazy, cause natural disasters and wreak havoc on the tides, there is scant evidence in support of those claims, NASA assures.

supermoon chart NASA

NASA planetary geologist Noah Petro said today on NASA TV that while the tides might be slightly higher because of the moon’s close approach, it won’t make a noticeable difference for the average observer. The only thing that humans might experience this weekend is a good lunar show. So… in anticipation of this weekend’s eye candy, we wanted to share some gorgeous supermoon shots from previous years in today’s Friday Fotos post.

supermoon athens greece 2012 photo AP dimitri messinis

Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, SE of Athens, Greece 2012 (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) via The Atlantic

supermoon seattle space needle 2012 photo by liem bahneman via KOMO

Supermoon rises over Seattle 2012 (Photo ©Liem Bahneman via KOMO)

supermoon manhattan 2012 reuters gary hershom

Lower Manhattan 2012 (Reuters/Gary Hershorn via The Atlantic)

supermoon Ajorbahman’s Collection via WebEcoist

Image: Ajorbahman’s Collection

Also check out our post of a gorgeous Tucson Moonrise … and remember to watch the supermoon this Sunday! Or catch a live webcast of the supermoon on on Sunday beginning at 9 pm EDT (0100 June 24 GMT), courtesy of the Slooh Space Camera.

Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone! 🙂  j & B

Friday Foto: Tucson Moonrise from Kitt Peak

February 15, 2013

Arizona gets breathtaking views of our night skies so we wanted to share a gorgeous shot of the moon rising above the Rincon Mountains as our Friday Foto.

This spectacular photo was taken by Emily Berkson, Kitt Peak Visitor Center Staff. Kitt Peak National Observatory is about 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O’odham Nation.

According to Kitt Peak National Observatory’s Dec. 4, 2012 facebook post that accompanied photo…

Cannon 500D T1i
300mm lens
Two exposures, stacked in Photoshop:
City of Tucson – 4 second exposure
Moon – 1/50 second exposure

KPNO also explained “…yes, photoshop was used, but only to keep the Moon from being over exposed or the city lights under exposed. Both shots were taken on the same night, from the same location.”

Kitt Peak is home to twenty-four optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions. The Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center is open to the public daily and they offer Guided tours. Plus you can stargaze at Kitt Peak with their Nightly Observing Programs, or spend the night at a telescope with the Advanced Observing Program. Learn more

Stay safe and have a great weekend! 🙂 j & B

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