A full day of beautiful skies allowed for wonderful moon views of the setting and rising full December Wolf Moon. Also called the Long Night Moon, Ice Moon, Cold Moon, and the Moon After Yule, December’s full moon marks the 13th full moon of 2020.
Several of the photos are from the night before and several from this morning. The two Eastern Point Lighthouse photos are double exposures. All were taken around our East Gloucester neighborhood, from Good Harbor Beach to the EPLighthouse.
Beautiful golden Blue Moon set over Gloucester Harbor. The photos were taken from East Main Street, looking towards City Hall. Capturing the flag from across the Harbor on the eve of this historic election, Blue Moons occur about every 2.5 years while the next Halloween Full Moon won’t take place for another 18 – 19 years.
Beautiful, beautiful night, with the added imagery of the rising Thunder Moon. Also called the Buck Moon because this is the time of year male deer antlers begin to regrow. And, too, another name is the Hay Moon, after the July hay harvest.
Called the Worm Moon because the ground begins to soften and earthworms reappear, inviting Robins to our gardens. Among many names, March’s Full Moon is also called the Sleepy Moon, Sap Moon, Crust Moon, Lenten Moon, and Crow Moon.
Photos of the full Super Worm Moon rising and setting.
Frost Moon rising between the Twin Lights. The Frost Moon is also known as the Beaver Moon and Mourning Moon. Oh how I wish I had my tripod with me tonight, but this image is fun anyway. I think it would make a better painting.
The full Worm Moon descending aligned with City Hall this morning.
On my way to give a Monarch talk in Boston this morning I caught the full Worm Moon setting. It was gorgeous and the air was perfectly still, which would have been ideal for filming. I was trying to take some footage, but my tripod wasn’t cooperating. This was the last super moon of 2019 and is extra special because today’s full super moon also coincides with the vernal equinox (also my son’s birthday!). The last time this happened was in 1905, over one hundred years ago. The next time a super moon will be seen with the spring equinox is in the year 2044.
March’s full moon has many names including Crow Moon, Eagle Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon, Crust Moon, and Lenten Moon. Don’t you prefer any of these other names over Worm Moon; I especially love Eagle Moon and Sugar Moon.
February’s Super Snow Moon was magical in more ways than simply beautiful. The unusual mirage captured during the Moon’s rise was seen by other Cape Ann photographers as well as myself. Lisa Freed from Rockport photographed the omega shape, rising adjacent to Motif No.1.
The effect has several names including Omega Moonrise, Etruscan Vase Moonrise, and Inferior Mirage Moonrise. The omega shape is seen more often during a sunrise, so it is quite exciting that we were witness to an Omega Moonrise on Cape Ann!
From my reading, this is how I understand why it occurs:
During cold weather, when the seawater is warmer than the air, the lowermost air layer is warmed up by the water and produces a temperature difference.
This omega shape is a type of inferior mirage. The refracted (inverted) image is actually below the object’s true position. When the Moon protrudes above the horizon at Moonrise, its inferior mirage can sometimes be seen below it, where it joins the true Moon, creating an omega shape. For this mirage to occur, a layer of very warm air must lie just above the sea surface.
Last night’s moonrise over the Back Shore was spectacular. Click on the sequence above to see full size. I don’t know why the Moon has a “neck” in the middle photo, or what that reflective appearance is termed, but it was so interesting to see.
February’s Snow Moon was also a Super Moon. It was the the second of a trio of Super Moons taking place in 2019. The Super Snow Moon was also the largest of the three (closest to Earth). The third and final Super Moon of the year is taking place on March 21st.
Our Charlotte loves looking at the Moon, so when she popped up in bed at 5:30 in the morning and exclaimed Moon!, I bundled her up and off we went to see the Moon setting over the Harbor. I wrote last month that she loves looking up in the sky for the Moon, largely from reading her the story book Good Night, Moon, and now we are reading Buenos Noches, Luna, practicing for an upcoming trip to Mexico.
It was way too slippery for me last night to venture very far to photograph. The above photo was taken last night from my back door kitchen stoop and there were clouds swirling across the moon, but you can still see how beautiful.
There’s something very spectacular about these January full moons. The photos below were taken last January, during the first full moon of the month, which took place on the first, and during the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse, which took place on the 31st.