April Full Moon Rising Like an Easter Egg above Monsaraz Castle

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The last Full moon was literally an Easter moon. Why, because it was rising like an egg. Even looking round at a first sight, take a look below on the left portrait, which shows exactly this same picture but rotated to a vertical position. It’s like an optical illusion. In fact Dr. Les Cowley from Atmospheric Optics, explains why a spherical object appears flattened near the horizon: “Rays from the setting sun are refracted by the atmosphere and make it appear higher in the sky. The lower limb is lifted more than the top limb, making its image oval.” The same could happen with the moon when its light is crossing different layers at different pressures and temperatures. The light is bent and distorts the image forming the Easter Egg shape. The single image captured with a 600mm at a distance of 8,2 km, shows the moon rising above Monsaraz Castle in Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Portugal. The image on the right, was captured a few minutes later at a focal of 400mm (200mm + 2x extender) when the moon was a little bit higher.

PT: A última lua cheia de Abril foi literalmente uma lua de Páscoa. Porquê ? Porque nasceu com a forma de um ovo. Mesmo parecendo redonda à primeira vista, a imagem em modo retrato que é possível ver em baixo à esquerda, mostra exatamente esta mesma fotografia, mas na posição vertical. Parece uma incrível ilusão óptica. Na verdade, Dr. Les Cowley, especialista do Atmospheric Optics, explica por que um objecto esférico parece achatado perto do horizonte: “Os raios do sol poente são refractados pela atmosfera e fazem com que este pareça mais alto no céu. O limbo inferior é eleva-se mais do que o limbo superior, tornando a sua imagem oval.” O mesmo pode acontecer com a lua quando a sua luz atravessa diferentes camadas da atmosfera, a diferentes pressões e temperaturas. A luz é “dobrada” e distorce a imagem apresentando o formato de “ovo de Páscoa”. A imagem é resultado de um disparo único captado com uma teleobjectiva de 600mm à distância de 8,2 km, e revela o nascimento da Lua Cheia sobre o Castelo de Monsaraz na Reserva Dark Sky® Alqueva, em Portugal. A imagem da direita, captada alguns minutos mais tarde com outra objectiva de 200mm + duplicador (2x),  revela um enquadramento similar com a Lua mais elevada no céu.




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