The Synodic Month of August 2019

September 23, 2019


September 2019 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Marcella Giulia Pace
Summary Author: Marcella Giulia Pace 

The month of August 2019 included an entire synodic month with two new moons. The second new Moon in the same month, an occurrence called a Black Moon, happens about once every 29 months. So, I decided to choose August for catching each of the Moon phases and was fortunate to enjoy fair weather and was thus able to shoot every phase every day, from my location at Ragusa, Sicily, Italy.

Featured above is an image with all of the Moons of the synodic month of August 2019 (captions give the exact age of each Moon at the time of shooting). Note that the Moons show different colors due to the elevation of our sole satellite above the horizon at the time of shooting –- more colorful Moons are near the horizon since pathlength, and hence scattering, is greater at the horizon than overhead (zenith). For example, the Moon on August 22 appears reddish because it had just arisen. For the new Moon phase, I decided to use the portion of earthshine that was captured during one of the last phases of the waning crescent Moon. Worth mentioning is the fact that the new Moon of August 30th was a Super New Moon since it occurred at perigee.

Photo Details: Nikon Coolpix P1000 camera; Mooncalc software used to calculate the age of the Moon.