The Full Moons of 2020

February 26, 2021


Photographer: Paolo Bardelli 
Summary Author: Paolo Bardelli 

In 2020 I managed to photograph all 13 full Moons, as represented on the montage shown above. Having used the same setup for all shots, the first thing noticeable is that the apparent dimensions of the Moon vary by approximately 10.5 percent, a result of its elliptical orbit about Earth. The Moon always shows us the same side, because its rotation is synchronous with its revolution around the Earth, but thanks to oscillations (librations) we’re able to observe 59 percent of the lunar surface. This can be seen from viewing the above images, each of which has been similarly oriented with respect to the celestial meridian for my location in Albusciago, Italy.

Note that in 2020 there were 4 supermoons: in order of brightness, or distance from Earth, they occurred on April 8 (221,851 miles or 357,034 km), on March 9 (222,082 miles or 357,406 km), on May 7 (224,431 miles or 361,186 km) and on February 9 (225,189 miles or 362,406 km). It should also be pointed out that the full Moon of January 10 and June 5 were partially obscured by penumbral eclipses.

Photo Details: Canon 70D camera; zoom lens 70/300 mm; 300 mm, on a tripod.