It’s very interesting to watch the moon’s progression down here. I didn’t notice it much during the summer because you don’t tend to notice the moon when the sun is up. I would notice it from time to time, but in the winter, it’s impossible not to notice.
I walked out of the station today on my way to ARO, and the full moon was on the horizon. It was quite spectacular looking, and I just had to take a few pictures. The problem is that the moon is so bright compared to everything else that I’d either get a very dark picture, or the moon would be totally saturated. But it was fun anyway, and I feel like I got a couple of good shots.
The moon acts similar to the sun (and the stars for that matter) in that it just goes around and around in the sky. But, unlike the sun and stars, it’s orbiting Earth with a period of 27.3 days. So, it rises, then stays up for about two weeks, spiraling up then back down again.At this time of year, it rises when it’s full and sets near the new moon. But, the synodic period, which dictates the phases of the moon, is 29.3 days. So, throughout the winter, the full moon will occur further and further after moonrise until eventually it will rise during the new moon and set during the full moon. Its orbit takes it up to between 18 and 28 degrees above the horizon, depending on the time of year.Today was also one of the last days that the windows of the station will not be covered. Once it gets dark enough, all of the station windows have to be blocked with cardboard so that the light contamination is minized, give that there are quite a few light sensitive sensors that are activated during the winter. It was kind of cool to see the glowing windows from the galley, so I stopped to take a few pictures of that too.