Sighting the Supermoon in Bangalore, November 2016
Supermoon, the name itself is exciting, but why this name for November 2016’s moon? This November 2016’s full moon was special; it was closest to Earth, brightest and biggest. The last time this phenomenon occurred was in 1948 and the next this will happen will be on 2034. Not sure if I will be alive till then, I thought I better capture this rare occurrence. May be my (future) grandkids will love to see these captures of their grandmom!
Super Moon from my Balcony
It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! Capturing the moon with well defined craters is little tricky. The very first capture came with a halo around it. Obviously handheld camera would never give the desired results. Out came the very rarely used camera tripod and also my zoom lens – Sigma 150-500m F 5-6.3 with optical stabilizer APO DG OS.
I positioned it in my balcony. The moon was clearly visible, but it had risen quite high and it had just the silvery sheen. The red glow had vanished. Orange-red glow is caused due to changes in Earth’s atmosphere. Too much pollution in atmosphere too could be a reason. In parts of New Delhi, where the pollution levels are high now, the supermoon had its red glow even when it was quite high above the horizon.
Framing the Supermoon in Bangalore
I was told just capturing the moon wasn’t enough; the foreground too should be good and noteworthy. To get a supermoon in Bangalore with famous land mark would have been easy, it just required a little planning. But the traffic deterred me. Now, there is no mention worthy building where I stay which could make an excellent prop for moon. After several attempts I got the silver oak tree leaves drooping over the moon. The sharp edges of the leaves made a good silhouette.
Later I realized my camera was set in JPEG mode and I had no pictures in RAW format. So the next morning I attempted to capture the moon set. I did get some decent captures in RAW format. Unfortunately as the moon went rolling down to horizon there were dark clouds and with that went my dreams of a good moon set capture. Cloudy conditions that morning hampered my chances of capturing the super moon set.
According to moon calendar of 2016 the next full moon is on December14th. This too will be a supermoon.
Some Trivia on Super Moon
- November Moon is also called The Beaver Moon.
- At this time of year the beavers are busy preparing for winter. It’s that time when they set beaver traps and secure a store of warm fur before the swamps freeze over. Some tribes called this the Frosty Moon.
- A supermoon is a full moon closely coinciding with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
- Astrologer, Richard Nolle, coined the term supermoon over 30 years ago.
- The moon in November 2016 was 221,524 miles from Earth.