The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

Another Super Moon coming in February

On Tuesday, February 19, the moon will be at its perigee (a term with origins in Greek, Latin and 16th century French meaning “close around the earth”). It will be another Super Moon (any time a full moon comes closer than 361,554.9 miles from earth).  

Photo of a previous Super Moon by Rex Dolby

The moon on January 21 was 222,274 miles away, while Tuesday’s will be just 221,681 miles away. That will make it not only 593 miles (about 40 miles beyond Kansas City, Missouri, from Van Wert) closer, but also the closest one for the entire year!

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we should see it rise around 6:30 pm.  Possibly due to comparing it to known landmarks, it will appear larger than what it really is near the horizon than what it does higher in the sky.  With that in mind you have time to scout out locations where you can have something interesting in the foreground for the moon to rise above.

Since the moon will appear 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than an average full moon, an ISO setting of 100 or 200 will be adequate. Start with a lens opening of f-11 and a shutter speed of 1/100th or 1/200th of a second. You want to end up with the smallest lens opening for sharpness and the fastest shutter speed to avoid motion blur. Because the camera’s light averaging system will burn out the moon, under expose it two stops and check your results. Bring a flashlight for illumination while you change settings until you are satisfied.  Remember to use manual focus.

To minimize camera shake, select image stabilization, a cable release, timed release, and/or mirror lock up. If wind is a factor, attach a heavy weight to the tripod. If you’re going to use a mobile phone, see if the holder on your Selfie Stick will attach to a tripod.

Let’s hope for a forecast with milder temperatures than the one in January, but a sky just as crisp.

POSTED: 02/15/19 at 9:12 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News