Stephen Fielding Images

A Little Lunar Laud

It seems only fitting to say a little something about the moon photos. The bright full moon against an otherwise dark sky seems to have an impact on us in one way or another. Let me start with the scientific perspective. We know that the inner rocky planets of our solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) were formed during the asteroid period. These planets, including the earth, were formed when asteroids collided, forming masses of increasing size held together through the melting of iron, and gravitational force. Later, but still early in earth’s history, a large asteroid hit the earth obliquely, splitting off what became the moon. As we know, the moon’s gravity is the principal driver of the tides, aided to a lesser extent by the sun.

Then there’s the moon’s “sinister” side, giving rise to werewolf and vampire legends, witchcraft, some religious beliefs, and “mental illness” (i.e., lunacy, lunatics). Of course, there is the moon’s romantic side. As I was sitting behind my camera and tripod on those Maine rocks, two cars with young couples parked nearby and went onto the rocks to watch the full moon rise. Somehow, watching the moon relaxes us in such a way that it is easier to express affection. The aesthetics of that giant orange disk rising over the horizon apparently is one of our emotional triggers.

All this encourages people like me to go out and photograph the moon despite the possibility of last minute weather vagaries, bug bites during warmer weather, and frozen fingers during winter.

-From Portland and the mid-coast