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Biggest Full Moon Photos

As luck would have it, the weather just did not feel like playing nice with me today.

I was super excited to see the rain clear up over Washington, D.C., this morning, and I got a couple nice peeks of tonight’s biggest full moon of the year as I was walking home.

By the time I got out on my balcony with a camera, however, an almost impenetrable blanket of clouds had swept over the Arlington skies, and that glorious moon played hide-and-seek with me for a good hour.

This was the best I could do before my frozen body insisted I go back inside and eat a hot meal.

moon-clouds.jpg

8:43 p.m. EST

—Photo by Victoria Jaggard

Kinda spooky, I guess, but not very detailed, so I just had to try again.

By around 11 p.m. the clouds had cleared, and I braved the crisp winter air to snap a few more rounds.

It’s fainter than I’d hoped, but there’s Tycho crater in all its glory in the lower right. Named for a 16th-century Danish astronomer, this relatively young crater is about 53 miles (85 kilometers) wide.

moon-full.jpg

11:07 p.m. EST

—Photo by Victoria Jaggard

Its system of bright rays—created by material ejected by the crater-causing impact—is one of the more noticeable features on a full moon, no matter how far the satellite is from Earth.

Apollo 17 landed about 1,243 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the crater in 1972, settling down along one of the rays of Tycho’s ejecta.

The astronauts brought back a sample of the bright material that was dated at around 100 million years old—near the middle of our planet’s Cretaceous period.

This means the space ball that created Tycho on the moon hit not too long before the Chicxulub impact, one of the leading theories for why dinos no longer rule the Earth.

In fact, in an article over at Sky & Telescope, lunar scientist Charles A. Wood suggests that dinosaurs and other Cretaceous creatures might have seen the collision from Earth and even been pelted a few days later when fist-size pieces of the moon came raining down.

Talk about foreshadowing.

cat-face.jpg

My sessions trying to capture a piece of the moon were also witnessed by wildlife. Here’s a snap of my cat making a vain attempt to join me on the balcony.

Sorry, bud, but you fell once and it ain’t gonna happen again …

—Photo by Victoria Jaggard

How’d everyone else fare? Got a good shot of the full moon you’d like to share? Email me at vjaggard@ngs.org!

Comments

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    July 21, 2010, 6:15 pm

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    July 19, 2010, 4:26 am

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  3. Elisa
    December 16, 2008, 8:18 am

    I didn’t snap any pics, but it sure was beautiful! I am glad that you got to see it!!
    Love your kitty pic! ;)