Physics Photo of the
October 14, 2011
Folklore calls the full Moon in September the
"Harvest Moon" presumably because farmers are often harvesting
crops into the early evening when the full Moon rises.
The clear skies, especially during harvesting weather, gives
more of a chance that the Moon will be visible.
The Harvest Moon was photographed on the night of Full Moon
last month (September 12, 2011) using the ordinary lens for
the camera (55 mm focal length). Later that evening,
Astronomy students: Josh
Reiss, Andrew Dutcher, and Sarah Elliott used the Questar telescope to
make the Full Moon photo
below where details of the mare as well as crater rays can be
Notice that the "face" of the "Man in the Moon" from the top
image is not noticeable in the telescopic image due to the
enhanced details. However the "face" features can be
discerned to consist of the dark areas called maria - Latin
for "seas". The Maria were formed by cataclysmic
collisions earlier in the Moon's history. The gigantic
impacts allowed more massive basalt-rich magma to reach the
surface of the Moon.
The Questar telescope used for the telescope photo was donated
to the Warren Wilson College Physics Department by Ralph Brown of
Chattanooga, TN. We are especially grateful for
this important gift.
There will be no Physics Photo of the Week next week due to
fall break. The next photo will be published on October
28, 2011. Look for an animation!
Physics Photo of the Week
is published weekly during the academic year on Fridays by
the Warren Wilson College Physics
Department. These photos feature 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos and discussions are copyright by
Donald Collins or by the person credited for the photo
and/or discussion. These photos and discussions may
be used for private individual use or educational
use. Any commercial use without written permission
of the photoprovider is forbidden.
to see the Physics Photo of the Week Archive.
Observers are invited to submit
digital photos to: