The whole of the (super)moon

4 Oct 2015

Last week we had a so called “supermoon”, along with a total eclipse of the moon, and it was an excuse to try some moon photography with what equipment I had to hand. Modern cameras are highly optimised for average light shots such that pictures of the moon and stars can be a bit of a challenge. Still, I was pleased that with a fairly standard zoom lens (55-200mm) on my small compact Fujifilm X-E2 I was able to take this:

A little blurry, but that’s just a regular camera with a not particularly high zoom level. You can clearly make out the Tycho crater on the lower left (home of the monolith in 2001), and the sea of tranquility on the mid right, famous for being the site of the first human landing.

If you’ve never looked at our near neighbours in space with your own eyes, I do encourage you to do so. To see details on the moon, all you need is some binoculars or a reasonable camera. Alternatively, find a friend with a telescope or an open night at a local astronomy department. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Saturn with its rings with my own eye using a telescope at one of the Cambridge Uni’s Astronomy department’s open nights; it puts the world a little into perspective in a way that a thousand pictures in books and on television do not. We think the earth as the entire universe, and seeing other planets directly is a humbling reminder that it is not.