Simply beautiful. Photo Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis
From NASA's Atronomy Picture of the Day
Today's solstice marks the northernmost point of the Sun's annual motion through planet Earth's sky and the astronomical beginning of the northern hemisphere's summer. But only two days ago, the Full Moon nearest the solstice rose close to the ecliptic plane opposite the Sun, near its southernmost point for the year. Astronomer Anthony Ayiomamitis recorded this dramatic picture of the solstice Full Moon rising above Cape Sounion, Greece. The twenty-four hundred year old Temple of Poseidon lies in the foreground, also visible to sailors on the Aegean Sea. In this well-planned single exposure, a telescopic lens makes the Moon loom large, but even without optical aid casual skygazers often find the Full Moon looking astonishingly large when seen near the horizon. That powerful visual effect is known as the Moon Illusion.My most vivid memory of the moon illusion is from a serene summer evening in 1967. We lived in northern California, back during the days when kids still went out to play. And on pleasant summer nights, the thing we hated most was the sound of our mothers calling us in for the night. This particular night was different though... it was so balmy and bright, that even the parents seemed to be out in the neighborhood, chatting up their neighbors and futzing about with a highball glass in their hands (it was the 60's ya know). When the moon rose that evening, it hung on the horizon like a giant world about to crash to the earth. It looked so close I felt I could run to the end of the street and touch it. It was magical.
It happened 40 years ago and I can remember it like yesterday. I've never seen anything remotely close to it since. How about you guys? Any great moon stories?