Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lunation 195: The 9-Day-Old Moon

I have long been fascinated by our Moon; beginning I think when as an eight-year-old I marveled at NASA's feat of placing a spacecraft and crew of two on the regolith of the Sea of Tranquility. I remember standing on the porch of our white brick house in Newport News, gazing up at the thick crescent hanging low in the southern sky and absorbing the idea that my view included Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin preparing to leave the LEM Eagle for that first excursion onto the lunar surface and Michael Collins, orbiting in CSM Columbia.

Suddenly, for me and for the entire world, the Moon was a place, a world of it's own.  But that was not the only metamorphosis taking place. The successful mission of Apollo Eleven changed us, made us not only citizens of a particular country or even of the Earth; we became a true space-faring civilization with the speaking of the words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

The paradigm of humanity had shifted.

Last night I began a new project; my intention is to photograph an entire cycle of our Moon's phases--through Full and round again to early waxing Gibbous phase as it stands now--as completely as I can, making allowances for inclement weather.  The photo above is the first of the series, taken with my Canon SX50 digital camera using manual settings, and mounted on a basic photo tripod.  With this modest photographic set-up I hope to present the full lunar "month", or Lunation, and take you on a guided tour of my favorite parts of our natural satellite.

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