What a way to start a year of spectacular celestial sights. With Moon at its perigee forming the first Supermoon of the year.

STARGAZERS will begin the year with a treat as the Supermoon graces the night skies. To not loose such an amazing opportunity SPACE India is organizing the contest where students will be utilizing their skills in educative research to broadcast their photographs on digital platforms, which has a large number of global audiences which can educate others with empirical methods of learning Science and photography skills. The best photographs will be rewarded with prizes.

Comparison of Moon at Perigee and Apogee position

What is Astrophotography?

Capture the beauty of Supermoon on the night of 21st January and share your pictures with us on Facebook using following tags: @spaceindiaedu #SpaceIndia @SpaceDelhi-NCR #Astrophotography #Picoftheday #Moon #Eclipse #Supermoon and win exciting prizes.

Astrophotography can be done with equipment as simple as a mobile (cell) phone to specialized equipment requiring a significant financial investment.

With a camera with manual controls, photographs of the night sky can be taken with the aid of a tripod. Keeping exposure times low enough, so that motion due to the Earth’s rotation is not significant, can lead to great photographs of the night sky. For this you need to use the camera’s timer or a remote shutter release to keep vibration to a minimum.

With a small telescope and mobile phone photos can be taken of bright objects on the sky. The Moon is a great target for this technique. With the telescope pointing at the target and the camera held to the eye-piece reasonable photos can be taken. The trick is positioning the camera correctly and it does take a bit of practice. Specialized brackets are available to hold the camera in the right position.

What is a Supermoon?

Whenever a full moon occurs during the moon’s closest approach to Earth, referred to at it’s perigee, then it is classified as a Super Full Moon. When a New moon occurs during the moon’s perigee, it is referred to as a Super New Moon. In short, a Supermoon is when the moon is closer than usual to Earth and it coincides with a new or full moon. The differing distances from Earth are due to the elliptical orbit of the Moon around Earth. Super Full Moons appear about 6% larger and 16% brighter than average full moons. Definitions vary on the exact distance the moon needs to be in relation to Earth to be classified as “super”. Most definitions agree that if the Moon is less than 223,700 miles from the center of the Earth, then it is a Supermoon. Whenever the moon is in its apogee or farthest position away from Earth, it is roughly 251,655 miles from Earth and referred to as a Micro moon.

In relation to this event few countries like North and South America and western parts of Europe and Africa will be able to observe Total Lunar Eclipse where totality is at 9:12 pm PST on January 20 and 00:12 am EST on January 21 from North America, but do look for the change from partial eclipse to total eclipse over the preceding hour or so. The event goes into reverse afterward. It’s visible on the night-side of Earth which includes South America, the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Western Atlantic Ocean, and extreme Western Europe.

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Good luck and clear skies!


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