Physics Photo of the Week

Animated Moon Rise over New Zealand

Photos by Elizabeth Wunker, January, 2005

The moon rises at an angle oriented to the left when viewed from the southern hemisphere. If you were standing on the equator watching the moonrise, it would travel straight up, perpendicular to the horizon.  If you were in the northern hemisphere, the moon's rising path is inclined to the right.  This same relation holds for the paths of rising stars as well as the sun.  Many thanks to Elizabeth Wunker, January, 2005 for the photos of the moon rising over New Zealand.  The last photo shows the moon "hiding" behind a tree.  The automatic exposure on Elizabeth's camera, then allowed a better image of the buildings and foreground objects. 

On careful inspection of the animated image above, one notices a faint ghost moon image moving the other direction in the top half of the photos.  That is attributed to lens flare - caused by internal reflections of the camera lenses due to such a bright object - the moon.

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