Cape Espichel, Portugal Panorama and Full Moon

November 09, 2011


Photographer: Miguel Claro; Miguel's Web site
Summary Author: Miguel Claro; Jim Foster

This panoramic view shows Cape Espichel, Portugal illuminated by the full Moon of March 19, 2011 (supermoon). The Moon reached the full stage just 50 minutes after attaining perigee and thus appeared 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the smallest (most distant) full Moons. Due to the strong moonlight and the long exposure time, brightness differences of the sky can be easily detected here. Note that the sky is not only much brighter in the east, where it was positioned when the panorama was taken, but the western sky is also relatively bright compared to the middle portion of the panorama. The reason for this is that there are a greater number of air molecules in our line of sight when we look toward the horizon as opposed to looking at the zenith (greater path-length) and so scattering is greater. Of course, this holds true during the day as well -- the clear sky is bluer overhead than near the horizon. At the top center of the panorama is the brilliant star Sirius (-1.46 magnitude).

Photo details: Canon 50D camera; ISO 800; 15mm; F/6.3; 25 minute exposure time -- beginning at 8:07 pm.