Saturday, November 4, 2017

Provincetown's Moonrise Tonight Just Might Prove Spectacular

I took this photo with no special equipment, just my trusty Canon PowerShot. Not too
bad with no tripod, and clouds moving through the sky, making even autofocus tricky.
Tonight's full moon over Provincetown has the potential to be spectacular, if the weather will cooperate.
The moon will rise at 1:23 AM, likely amid partly cloudy skies, according to the most recent hour-by-hour predictions from

I took this photo over Provincetown Harbor during a remarkable Perigee Moon in 2015. That's when the moon's orbit brings it much closer to the earth than it will be at other times of the year, making it look much larger than usual. Since the moon travels in a sort of oval-shaped orbit, during part of the year it appears much smaller, since it is farther away from the earth. That's called an Apogee Moon.
The full moon tonight is known by many names relating to this time of year, most often called by scientists the Beaver Moon. That's what early colonists and Algonquin tribes called it, as they set beaver traps to provide warm furs for the coming winter.

This photo was taken a bit earlier on the same night. As the
moor rises above the  harbor, we can get a golden or even red
color, which quickly fades to yellow, then to white as it rises.
Some call it the Hunter's Moon, or Blood Moon, when First Nations of North America were busy killing deer to stockpile meat for the winter. The name Frost Moon, of course, comes from the usual time of the first real frost of the autumn.
The average person on the street might call it a Harvest Moon, though that usually comes in September or October, varying a little from year to year, but whatever you might call it, tonight's moon will appear to be bigger and brighter than usual.

Not quite the "biggest" moon of the year, tonight it will look very much like a so-called Super Moon, which actually will appear next month, in the wee hours of December 4th in this neck of the woods. Tonight's moon will look a fraction smaller, since it will be some 2,000 miles closer to us next month.But it will still be an amazing sight, provided we can catch a glimpse of it between the clouds that are predicted.

The next time the moon will be closer to Earth than tonight's or December's full moons won't be until November 25th, 2034.

1 comment:

  1. i am really looking forward to the moon. by the way i really like your blog. it keeps us updated with all that goes on with the town