Six Years of Full Moons

February 06, 2023



Photographer: Meiying Lee 

Summary Author: Meiying Lee  

This composite shows the full moons I’ve captured over the past 6+ years from my home in Taiwan. Because Mare Crisium is located on the east side of the moon, its position can be used as a guide to the moon’s location in the sky. Therefore, the moons pictured here are arranged according to where the moon was in the sky on the night it was photographed.

On the top row, Mare Crisium is the circular crater at the top of the lunar disk. When it's in this position, the full moon rises in the east. As the moon rises, the position of Mare Crisium shifts to the right. When Mare Crisium is on the right side of the lunar surface, the full moon is near the zenith –- around midnight. At this time of night, the sky is near its darkest, and if the weather is clear, it’s easier to detect the iron-gray lunar surface.

As the moon sets, Mare Crisium is turned toward the lower right. A full moon sets about the time that the Sun rises. The color of the dawn is usually gray-blue or pink-gray, so the color of the full moon will be close to the color of the sky, and details in the lunar surface are more challenging to detect.

All photos were taken at the same focal length. But you can observe that the size of the moon may change significantly from one shot to the next. This is of course related to the distance between the moon and the Earth. Note that I also captured phases of a total lunar eclipse (rows 2 and 3) as well as a jet airliner (row 3) passing overhead of my location.

Yunlin, Taiwan Coordinates: 23.7092, 120.4313

Related Links:

Lunar Occultation of Uranus

Twelve Full Moons

Meiying’s Website