Super Crescent Moon with Light Pollution in Curitiba, Brazil

August 28, 2019

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Photographer: Mario Freitas 
Summary Author: Mario Freitas 

For city dwellers, the beauty of night sky has been spoiled by light pollution that consists of exaggerated amounts of artificial sources of light in outdoor environments. Furthermore, this artificial light is responsible for negatively impacting on wildlife as well as human health.

In early August, I photographed through the windshield of my vehicle a casual strip of colored man-made lights in Curitiba, Brazil that seemed to compete with the Moon, imitating its waxing crescent shape. In the picture, nothing is visible in the background sky except for the Moon. Light pollution in Curitiba obstructs the stars of Leo and Virgo constellations.

Moon phases result because of our viewing perspective of the Moon relative to the Sun, which in the picture had set 3 hours earlier. The small difference in elevation between the highest and lowest lunar horns indicates the low latitude of my location. It’s worth noting that the apparent diameter of the lunar disk is slightly larger than usual because perigee occurred just one day before I took this shot.

The term supermoon has no precise astronomical definition, but rather refers to a full Moon that nearly coincides with perigee. Considering that every month the moon reaches a minimum distance to the Earth in its elliptic orbit, it’s reasonable to call my observation a super crescent moon. Photo taken on August 4, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon PowerShot SX620 HS; Exposure Time: 0.125s (1/8); Aperture: ƒ/6.3; ISO equivalent: 1600; Focal Length: 55.0mm.