I took the above picture around 10:30pm September 26th. I was hoping to get a shot of the Moon as it rose from the horizon to get more of a yellow tinge to it, but unfortunately it had just finished raining, but I did get a real nice rainbow shot.
Never fear, I did get a good shot of the 98% Harvest Moon the night before as it was low on the horizon, has got a nice yellow tint to it. The pictures below illustrate the effect the atmosphere has on the color of the Moon. The top one was taken at 7:00pm, the one below it was taken at 7:24pm, the higher the moon is the less atmosphere it's light travels through, therefore less tint caused by the Earth's atmosphere. The picture below is one of my favorite pictures of the Moon I've ever taken. Since it was still a little light out when I took it, you can see the blue sky contrasting against the wall of the telescope, looks as if your looking through the window of the Lunar Crew Exploration Vehicle as your approaching the moon.
The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, in the northern hemisphere, this year it happens to be September 26th. Called a Harvest Moon because it rises as the Sun sets giving the farmers much needed light as they work long into the night to get their crop off, back in the olden days farmers never had lights on their tractors so the harvest moon was a welcome sight indeed. Anna over at My Only Photo took some great pictures as well check them out.
Tycho Crater , top left side of the Moon in the above picture, the major crater with the vast ray system, some reaching as far as 2000 kms, I've mentioned this crater a couple times before, what can I say it's my favorite. Tycho was in 2001: A Space Odyssey the book and the film, Tycho was a location for one of the monoliths, also in the film Star Trek First Contact, Tycho was the location of Tycho City.
To give you an example of how much the full moon lights up the night sky, I was up at 3:30am Wednesday morning to do some astronomy, it was going to be a warm night , by warm I mean 10 degrees C so I thought I'd take advantage of the last warm nights before winter and do some stargazing. I get outside and the moon is directly overhead casting it's blue gray glow over everything. My pod was actually glowing a blueish color, spooky yet beautiful. This strange moonlight is what our eye night sensitive rods pick up, which are 1,000 times more sensitive than our eye cones which are used for day viewing, but the rods are colorblind and are more sensitive to the blues more so then the reds. In astronomy we use averted vision, when we can't see something directly, we look off to the side of where we think the target should be and let our rods find the target, works all the time. The strange moonlight article has some cool sayings, "Moonlight steals color from whatever it touches" or "it's a bit like seeing the world through an old black and white TV set". Needless to say it was too bright that morning for viewing galaxies or nebulae, but the globular and open star clusters were magnificent as usual.
A Press Release issued last Thursday by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory stating a team of 5 astronomers has found a "mysterious" pulse from outer space, about 3 billion light years distant. It was a one time pulse lasting under 5 milliseconds. To date no other pulse or signal has the same characteristics as this one and as they put it "represents an entirely new astronomical phenomenon". The team had gone through approximately 500 hours of archival data recordings by Parkes Radio Telescope of Apollo 11 fame. Scientists are not sure exactly what they have found, could be anything from superdense neutron stars colliding to evaporating black holes. Right now no one knows or has seen anything like it, that's why it is so exciting.