APOD: Moon behind Lava Fountain (2018 Sep 04)

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Otto Posterman
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APOD: Moon behind Lava Fountain (2018 Sep 04)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:05 am

Image Moon behind Lava Fountain

Explanation: What's happened to the Moon? Nothing, but something has happened to the image of the Moon. The heat from a volcanic lava fountain in the foreground has warmed and made turbulent the air nearby, causing passing light to refract differently than usual. The result is a lava plume that appears to be melting the Moon. The featured picture was taken as the full Sturgeon Moon was setting behind Mt. Etna as it erupted in Italy about one week ago. The picture is actually a composite of two images, one taken right after the other, with the same camera and lens. The first image was a quick exposure to capture details of the setting Moon, while the second exposure, taken after the Moon set a few minutes later, was longer so as to capture details of the faint lava jets. From our Earth, we can only see the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars as they appear through the distortion of the Earth's atmosphere. This distortion can not only change the images of familiar orbs into unusual shapes, it can --unexpectedly at times -- delay sunset and moonset by several minutes.

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Subtle Signal
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Re: APOD: Moon behind Lava Fountain (2018 Sep 04)

Post by MarkBour » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:46 pm

That's a really wild picture ... and an exceptional example to show atmospheric distortion.
It was also nice, particularly in this case, to give access to the two separate images, to clarify matters of the composition.
Mark Goldfain

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Re: APOD: Moon behind Lava Fountain (2018 Sep 04)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:58 am

Awesome image...

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