Supermoon: Spectacle captured in sky above St Albans, despite clouds
PUBLISHED: 19:04 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 19:05 15 November 2016
Patience has paid off for a man who proved to be a star in capturing a once in a generation event, after defying clouds and camera-shake to successfully photograph the rare ‘supermoon’.
Rob Rambler took clear shots of the moon, appearing at its largest and brightest in almost 70 years, as shown here, from an upstairs window overlooking the Highfield Park area in St Albans, on Monday (14) night.
While people were advised to look skyward from about 4.45pm – when the moon was expected to rise – because of cloud cover, Rob was unable to take his photos until much later, at about 11pm.
He explained to the Herts Advertiser: “It was a case of being patient. Judging by the extensive cloud coverage, I didn’t believe I was going to get a glimpse of the moon and so hadn’t even brought a tripod with me.
“These shots are handheld with my lens wedged between the window and wall. Not only did I have the cloud to contend with but ensuring I limited camera shake too!
“Sure enough, when I considered going to get my tripod, the cloud moved in for good and the moon was not seen again.”
He also took a short video, which gives an idea of how the cloud was moving and how awkward it was biding his time to take a shot.
St Albans astronomer Dr Mikko Tuomi, from the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “Astronomically speaking an event such as a supermoon is not that significant, but it something great to look at for the wider public.
“The moon delivers a rather unusual visual display due to its celestial nature.”
The expert added: “A ‘supermoon’ occurs when the moon is on its orbit closest to the Earth and that happens to coincide with the full moon, making it appear even larger and brighter in the sky than usual.
“Although the moon’s distance from the Earth does not vary much monthly, from roughly 220 to 250 thousand miles, the difference can still be seen rather easily by a casual observer.
“This phenomenon can be exaggerated by an optical illusion if the moon is close to the horizon. In such a case it might appear even larger because its apparent size can be contrasted with objects on the ground, such as trees and buildings.”
NASA scientists have studied the moon for decades, with the agency saying in a recent statement that a better understanding of our moon helps scientists work out what is happening on other planets and objects in the solar system.
The moon will not come this close to Earth again until November 2034, according to NASA.