Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2012 December 8
Explanation: A Full Moon rises in this waterfront scene. Its colourful, watery reflection is joined by harbour lights and a windowed skyscraper's echo of the western horizon just after sunset. The tantalizing image is a composite of frames recorded at 2 minute intervals on November 28 from the Caspian Sea port city of Baku, Azerbaijan. Still, this Full Moon was not really as big or as bright as others, though it might be hard to tell. In fact, November 28's Full Moon was near apogee, making it the smallest Full Moon of 2012. As it rose over the Baku boardwalk (along with much of the eastern hemisphere), it was also in the Earth's lighter or penumbral shadow. The subtle effect of the penumbral lunar eclipse is just discernible as the slightly darker left side of the lunar disk. Opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky, the Full Moon was also joined by bright planet Jupiter, only a few days from its own opposition.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.