F*ck the Moon


No, this is not a picture of the November Supermoon. It was cloudy yesterday and is looking to be cloudy this evening by the time the moon rises again. This is just my favorite moon shot I’ve ever taken so seemed like a good pic to post with my rant.

So why, “f*ck the moon” you ask? I’ll tell you why!

As someone who very much enjoys stargazing, and of course astro-photography, the moon is basically just a big bright light-polluting orb in the sky that thwarts my efforts 2/3rds of the time. That’s not an exaggeration, Aside from about 5 days prior to a new moon and 5 days post (the waning crescent, new moon, and waxing crescent stages) the moon gives off enough light to drastically dim the rest of the night sky.

So as everyone’s going crazy for this  once-in-every few dozen years supermoon, out and about staring at the sky (which is actually great! get out there, go look at the night sky) they don’t realize how much more interesting the sky really can be at the right time.

The largest meteor shower of the year (geminids, Dec 13) lands right during a full moon this year. The Perseids back in August were also dimmed by a nearly full moon. Even just as a photographer wanting to capture the Milky Way in all it’s glory, the moon cuts my opportunities to do so by 66%, mixed with the fact there’s no true Astronomical Dusk here in Alberta in the summer months (minus another 50% of the year), and none of this even matters if it’s cloudy (don’t even get me started on clouds) I have only 2 or 3 weekends a YEAR to fully appreciate a truly dark sky.

Suppose there’s no point complaining about something that’s not going to change any time soon. Frankly if something was about to happen to the moon I’d be a whole lot more worried about that than I am about it giving off light pollution to the night sky! Guess I can just treasure my 2 or 3 yearly chances at having everything work out to have the perfect stargazing experience.

Lance Edwards-Hampton


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