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Ring the Moon

December 28, 2012
tags: , , ,

Please thank ice crystals in high clouds for the lovely ring around the moon last night.

IMG_2206

The iPhone did a surprisingly good job capturing the ring, but it was too wide to capture in one shot. Luckily I fished out my fish-eye lens (and applied some judicious filtering to cut down the grain).

@rrmutt pointed to nice diagram explaining how the whole ring thing works (please substitute moon for sun):

halos_both_diagram

22halo

More here.

Not bad, but we can do better — despite the temperature dropping to the MID FORTIES, I ventured outside long enough to try some longer exposures with my trusty old Lumix. 15 seconds did the trick:

IMG_3661 - Version 2

That’s Jupiter on the right of the full icebow. (The dot immediately to the right of the moon is just lens flair since I didn’t line up the shot perfectly.)

And as @rrmutt noted, you can see the refraction!

Zoom and enhance:

moonbow

And thus concludes today’s lesson in atmospheric optics.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2012 1:57 pm

    Great pictures! Your optic lessons reminded me of my dad’s explanations when he was building his telescope.

  2. Grego permalink
    December 29, 2012 10:42 am

    TY! There were perfect ice-ring viewing conditions from SF on Thursday night. Wonderful views and some great science!

  3. Terry permalink
    December 30, 2012 7:55 pm

    Just spectacular! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Richard permalink
    January 1, 2013 2:28 pm

    Speaking of this last full moon and Jupiter, you ought to be aware of this.

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