On my way home after attending tonight’s Christmas Day Mass, I saw a faint ring or halo around the Moon. Lunar halos often result when moonlight enters randomly- oriented hexagonal ice crystals in wispy cirrus clouds. Refraction of light produces a 22 degree ring or halo around the Moon. In order for a halo to appear, the Moon must be at least 22 degrees above the horizon. Interestingly, Jupiter was also positioned inside the 22 degree halo on this night near the waxing gibbous moon.
Lunar halos usually indicate that a bad weather is on it’s way. In the Philippines, a new tropical depression is expected to bring heavy rains across central part of the country in the next few days.
Image taken using hand-held Canon Powershot SX40 HS.
Merry Christmas, folks!
Despite the rain and an overcast sky, we were thankful that for a brief period of time God permitted us to have a glimpse of the Red Moon during the total eclipse of the moon last December 10, 2011.
The moon was nearly high overhead during the totality phase of the eclipse and was located in the constellation Taurus. Totality lasted for about 51 mins.
I didn’t get decent shots of the moon during this event but I was really happy to have witnessed it. 🙂
Click on the images below to see larger versions.
The red tint of the eclipsed Moon is created by sunlight first passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, which preferentially scatters blue light (making the sky blue) but passes and refracts red light, before reflecting back off the Moon. Differing amounts of clouds and volcanic dust in the Earth’s atmosphere make each lunar eclipse appear differently.
By the way, I observed this event together with my friend and UP AstroSoc orgmate, Bea Banzuela. We were eating a cold dinner (literally!) from the rooftop of their house in Marikina City while checking the sky and taking photos of the moon.
Bea used her sophisticated camera, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (with telephoto lens) in capturing lunar images. Below is one of the images she took:
The lunar features in this image are more recognizable. 🙂 I love that camera! Haha! Thanks Bea, for allowing me to repost this.
“When you want something, all the universe conspire in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
This image was taken during UP Astronomical Society‘s free public viewing of the largest full moon at the UP Diliman Sunken Garden.
Thanks to Kuya Anthony Urbano of EtenyWorks for letting us take pictures through his 6″ NERT!
The Moon was ~14% brighter and bigger at the time of this event. Thin clouds blanketed the lunar disk during this night but we were still lucky to catch a glimpse of this celestial beauty.We even saw a 22 degree halo and a colorful lunar corona circling the Moon at the same time.
Saturn was also there within the halo and there were contrails, too left by a passing aircraft.
Thanks to everyone who dropped by. ‘Til next time 🙂 Ad astra per aspera!
“The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Some photos were grabbed from Nico Mendoza and Julee Olave 🙂 Used with their permissions]
In hope of observing the Orionids Meteor Shower, I and some UP Astrosoc friends planned to go to the south to avoid the unfavorable weather in Manila. Unfortunately, we were not able to pursue the plan due to the heavy rain. Instead, we went to Naic, Cavite, a town just a few kilometers outside Manila, a day after super typhoon Megi left the country to try our luck.
We arrived at the local beach resort and started setting up our things including our tent at around 11:00 PM. The sky was totally overcast, but the waning gibbous moon and a star, which I know was the planet Jupiter, were visible then.
After a few minutes of observing the two, we noticed a faint but full 22 degree lunar halo circling the moon. Jupiter was just within the circle. We even got more amazed as the halo became clearer when the moon reached the zenith. One of us took a shot of this stunning view using her Canon 400D Digital SLR camera.
Lunar halos are caused by sunlight being refracted by cirro-stratus clouds. Cirro-stratus clouds are thin clouds, very high in the atmosphere, and are composed of ice crystals. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring. They bend light at a 22 degree angle, which creates a solar halo or lunar halo that is 44 degrees in diameter.
Since the ice crystals typically have the same shape, namely a hexagonal shape, the Moon ring is almost always the same size. Less typical are the halos that may be produced by different angles in the crystals. They can create halos with an angle of 46 degrees.
The sky remained overcast during the rest of the evening until twilight and so we were not able to see even a single fireball.
Nevertheless the attempt was worth a try, thanks to that wonderful halo which left us amazed and happy. 😀