Perigee-syzygy - Supermoon, May 5, 2012

Luna and the pincushion skyline of San Francisco

A set of photographs from a rare conjunction of a setting, fully eclipsed moon and the Golden Gate can be found here.

The wikipedia entry describing the "supermoon" phenomenon is here.

Saturday, May 5th marked the perigee-syzygy of the Earth, Moon and Sun. The sun set over the rolling shoulders of Marin just as the moon's ruddy face began to peer over the pincushion skyline of San Francisco.

I expected things to be busy. I didn't expect them to be nearly impossible. The shoulders of Marin were teeming with photographers. Thousands. More than I had seen at the Lunar eclipse in January. They double parked. They triple parked. They parked on roadway shoulders of sharp stone meant to dissuade parking. They slowed traffic to a crawl until, finally, at the end of a half-hour gauntlet, I found myself winding down the one-way, 18% grade toward Bonita Point.

This necessarily meant that the image I had in mind was shot. After braving that circus, however, I was happy to find another spot. Here, along the jutting shoulder blades of Marin, alongside the ruined bones of long-abandoned military

bunkers and pill-boxes, we watched the blush of a rising moon grace the skies above Fog City.

A super moon such as this is about 12% larger than an "average" full moon. For the photographers dotting the piers and bridges and vista points all over the coast, it loomed much larger than that. A great coral orb counterbalanced with the setting sun, a bloodshot eye come to gaze over the brine that laves the hills of a wild land, this was a superior moon indeed.

It was a trip worth making. From my perch I could hear the pulse of the Pacific upon the untouched beaches below. The cool of night rushed in and with the warmth of the day went the flush from the moon. Homeward bound, I reflected upon the insanity along Conzelman road that would be sure to twist traffic for hours to come. "Lunatics," thought I, pun intended.

Marin and the Super Moon, May 5th, 2012
Marin and the Super Moon, May 5th, 2012
Marin and the Super Moon, May 5th, 2012
Marin and the Super Moon, May 5th, 2012
Marin and the Super Moon, May 5th, 2012