Position of Full Moon at Winter and Summer Solstice

December 20, 2019

Marco_Solsltice Moons

Photographer: Marco Meniero
Summary Authors: Marco Meniero; Jim Foster

The panorama above shows the full Moons that arise during the days closest to the winter solstice (at left), the autumn equinox (center) and summer solstice (at right). These moons were captured from the control tower of the Viterbo Airport (Italy) on December 22, 2018, June 18, 2019, and September 14, 2019, respectively. Be mindful that, unlike the Sun, the full Moon during summer rises further south than does the full Moon during winter.

Note the different colors of the moons. When the Moon hugs the horizon, it’s much redder since the path length of this moonlight is greater than for moons higher in the sky. As the Moon rises higher, atmospheric scattering decreases (for all colors in the visible wavelengths), so the Moon appears less red, approaching white.

Photo Details: Canon Eos 1DxMk2 camera; EF24-70/2.8, both for landscape and lunar disk.