Setting Crescent Moon

August 01, 2005


Provided by: Pete Lawrence
Summary authors & editors: Pete Lawrence

As this thin, 2-day old crescent Moon began to set on June 8, 2005, I was surprised at how far down I could follow it. The United Kingdom port of Portsmouth is located in the direction this photograph was taken and there is considerable light pollution as a consequence. Although the Moon wasn't visible with the naked eye, a small (80 mm, f/5) telescope and a digital camera were able to observe and record it. As it neared the horizon, it became noticeably distorted -- greater atmospheric refraction of moonlight or sunlight when close to the horizon. Note also the Moon illusion effect, even with a crescent Moon.

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