Perigee Earthshine and Planet Mercury above Lisbon City


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Featured as NASA´s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

We use the term of “Super Moon” when the moon is at the Perigee, closer to Earth, which is not so rare, occurring 13 times this year 2016. But to our naked eyes we only notice that moon is indeed, larger in the sky (15% bigger and 30% brighter) when the moon is normally full, capturing our attention during this period. On April 7, the New Moon was at the Perigee, so in the day after, on April 8, with only 3% of the disc illuminated by the sunlight, it would be considered a Super Crescent Moon, a perfect moment to show up the Earthshine phenomenon described and drawn for the first time by Leonardo DaVinci 500 years ago.

In the lovely view captured 8.5km straight from Lisbon city, from Barreiro region, with a telephoto lens, we can see in nautical twilight a beautiful alignment between the Super Crescent Moon and the planet Mercury – the bright “star” located at the same line – only separated by 6º, an easy target to find thanks to the help of our natural satellite, standing in the background above the monument Christ the King and the 25 April bridge. Above on the image, are seen reflections of light pollution in the water of Tagus River. In that night, to wind was so strong that my local good friend and photographer Nuno Lopes, was holding the cargo cover all the time, trying to protect me and my equipment from the strong winds, while I was photographing the telephoto scene showed below. Both of my cameras and William Optics telescope, were assembled in the new Advanced Vixen Polarie portable mount.


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