Astronomy Picture of the Day

Lunar Eclipse over a Skyscraper
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)

Explanation: Why is the Moon on top of this building? Planning. It took the astrophotographer careful planning — including figuring out exactly where to place the camera and exactly when to take the shot — to create this striking superposition. The single image featured was taken in the early morning hours of November 19, near the peak of the partial lunar eclipse that was occurring as the Moon passed through the Earth’s shadow. At this time, almost the entire Moon — 99.1 percent of its area — was in the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow. The building is the Gran Torre Santiago building in Chile, the tallest building in South America. Although the entire eclipse lasted an impressive six hours, this image had to be taken within just a few seconds to get the alignment right — the Earth’s rotation soon moved the building out of alignment. The next Earth-Moon eclipse will be a total eclipse of the Sun that will occur on December 4 — but only be visible from the bottom of our world.

Tomorrow’s picture: X-raying the Sun

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