City photographer captures the shot

Photo provided to the Times Observer Sarah West took these photos of last week’s Pink Supermoon from her front yard in Warren.

When our nearest celestial neighbor slides closer to us, some unique photographic opportunities present themselves.

Sarah West of Warren took advantage of those opportunities.

The result? A series of photos of last week’s pink supermoon.

“Ever since I got my first camera back in 2018 the moon has always been my favorite thing to shoot, but over the past month I’ve put a lot of my time and effort into pulling out the detail of the moon and stars in my photos,” she explained.

According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the Moon is at its perigee, or closest distance to Earth. The orbit is elliptical and ranges from 253,000 miles at its farthest to 226,000 miles at its closest.

Sarah West

Per the Old Farmers’ Almanac, the result is a Moon that looks about seven percent bigger and is about 15 percent brighter than a typical full Moon.

Why is this a Pink Supermoon? It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual color of the moon.

“The full Moon names used by The Old Farmers’ Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not only to the full Moon,” the Almanac explained. “Although we wish this name had to do with the color of the Moon, the reality is not quite as mystical or awe-inspiring. In truth, April’s full Moon often corresponded with the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulata — commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox — which also went by the name “moss pink.”

The pink supermoon on April 26 is one of two supermoons in pretty close succession – the other occurring in 2021 is set for May 26, per the Almanac.

For West, photography is a hobby at this stage; but, for her, it merges with an interest in space.

“Space has always been interesting to me and it’s mind blowing to be able to capture something so close up that is actually thousands and thousands of miles away from us in a universe that contains so many unknowns,” she said. “The craters, the texture, the glow of it — to see that detail we wouldn’t otherwise see just by looking at it out our window is absolutely jaw dropping to me!”

These photos were taken in her front yard in Warren.

“There are many extraordinary things that lie in what many find ordinary every day and my goal is to capture those things I am gifted with being able to see so others who may miss them can see them just as clearly and as beautifully as I do,” she explained.


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