Moonrise over Swannanoa

Physics Photo of the Week


Warren Wilson College

Moonrise over Swannanoa Mountains - Photo by Donald Collins

One day before the full moon I was able to photograph the nearly full moon on Aug. 28, 2004.  I then assembled a time-lapse animated sequence by taking a photo every 20 sec and playing them back with a 0.2 sec delay between images.  This is a speed-up of a factor of 100.  Look below to click on animated sequence.

Before you look at the animated sequence (it is rather large at 640 kB), you should predict the path that the rising moon follows.  Pick the path below that you believe is the correct path for the moon to rise and you will see the animated sequence

A: Moon rises slanting to south

B: Moon r
ises straight up

C: Moon rises slanting to the north

Physics Photo of the Week is published weekly during the academic year on Fridays by the Warren Wilson College Physics Department.  These photos feature an interesting phenomena in the world around us.  Students, faculty, and others are invited to submit digital (or film) photographs for publication and explanation.  Atmospheric phenomena are especially welcome.  Please send any photos to

Click here to see all Physics Photo of the Week for 2004.