Full Moon Over Mount Hamilton Wows South Bay

When the moon hits your eye using a Canon Rebel XTi DSLR, this is what you get.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012  |  Updated 7:51 PM PDT
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The Life of a Planet Hunter

Rick Baldridge

Baldridge said finding the exact location to take the photo was the hardest part of his lunar effort.

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Did you see the moon rise this past weekend? It was full, and gorgeous, and at the right angle - huge.

Case in point: this photo of Mount Hamilton taken by photographer Rick Baldridge. He says he snapped the photo a week ago on March 7 at 6:08 p.m. near the San Jose airport.

Baldridge says he used a DOS-based program called SKYMAP to pinpoint the exact location he needed to get the moon over the Lick Observatory.

After he performed what seems to us to be graduate-level math equations, he said he figured out the Taylor Street Rock Garden off of Highway 87was the right spot. He said finding the location was the most difficult part of the project.

As you can see, he nailed the location. The moon provided the perfect frame for the Lick Observatory.

The photograph was chosen as today's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" by NASA:

APOD writers described it like this:

The lunar disk frames historic Lick Observatory perched on the mountain's 4,200 foot summit. Both observatory and Moon echo the warm color of sunlight (moonlight is reflected sunlight) filtered by a long path through the atmosphere. Substantial atmospheric refraction contributes the Moon's ragged, green rim. Of course, the March Full Moon is also known as the Full Worm Moon. In the telescopic photo, Lick's 40 inch Nickel Telescope dome is on the left. The large dome on the right houses Lick's Great 36 inch Refractor. 

The photo to the right was taken by Paul Mortfield of Baldridge at work.

Mr. Baldridge wrote up a more detailed explanation of his efforts for us. (Click here for pdf)

We had to crop the image at the top. The full photo is below.


 

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