Inside the Shadow of Mauna Kea

By: Richard Wainscoat


Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, USA

1991 June 27


From the photographer: "The Moon inside the shadow of Mauna Kea. Every sunrise and sunset, provided there are no clouds, Mauna Kea casts its shadow on the Earth's atmosphere, creating a distinctive triangular shaped shadow. On rare occasions, the rising or setting Full Moon can be seen inside the shadow. In this photo, taken two weeks before the 1991 total solar eclipse, the Moon had just emerged from a penumbral lunar eclipse. The sunlight that is illuminating the Moon is passing around the other side of the Earth." - Richard Wainscoat

Editor's note: Technically speaking, this superb image from Richard Wainscoat was not taken at night. Clearly, the Sun was above the local horizon at the time of the photo. However, it is a remarkable scene that captures a particular celestial geometry, visually demonstrating the linear aspect of the Sun-Earth-Moon alignment during a penumbral lunar eclipse event.

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