moon

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Photography

A Rare Glimpse of Comet Leonard’s Last Moments Wins the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

September 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Disconnection Event” © Gerald Rhemann, Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm, Khomas, Namibia, December 25, 2021. All images © Astronomy Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

The brilliant Comet Leonard put on a mesmerizing performance late last year when it streaked across the sky on Christmas Day. Expelled from the solar system shortly after, the celestial matter captivated photographers around the world during its brief stint of visibility, including Gerald Rhemann who captured the illuminated body as its gas tail disconnected from its nucleus and was swept away by solar wind. The incredibly rare and brief event also garnered Rhemann the top prize in this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.

Hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 14th-annual competition received more than 3,000 entries from 67 countries. This year’s collection includes a glowing, avian-like aurora over Murmansk Oblast and the International Space Station as it flies over the Apollo 11 moon-landing site—the latter was taken by Andrew McCarthy, whose galactic photos have been featured multiple times on Colossal.

Explore all of the winning images on the contest’s site, and if you’re in London, stop by the National Maritime Museum to see the photos in person through August 13, 2023.

 

“Winged Aurora” © Alexander Stepanenko, Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast, Russia, January 15, 2022

“Stabbing Into the Stars” © Zihui Hu, Nyingchi, Tibet, China, December 24, 2021

“Back to the Spaceship” © Mihail Minkov, Buzludzha, Balkan Mountains, Stara Zagora Province, Bulgaria, August 12, 2021

“The Night Highway” © Filip Hrebenda, Stokksnes Peninsula, Iceland, April 11, 2021

“Moon: Big Mosaic” © Andrea Vanoni, Porto Mantovano, Lombardy, Italy, January 19, 2021

“The International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base” © Andrew McCarthy, Florence, Arizona, USA, January 19, 2022

“In the Embrace of a Green Lady” © Filip Hrebenda, Hvalnes, Iceland, April 10, 2021

 

 

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Photography Science

The Moon Sways Through Its Phases in an Incredible Timelapse Made from Over 2 Million Images

April 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

In lunar astronomy, a phenomenon known as libration is the perception that the moon is wavering or swaying in the sky when viewed from Earth. Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy (previously) wanted to record this fascinating occurrence in high resolution to emphasize the changes in light and contrast across the vast and cratered lunar surface.

For nearly a month, he traveled around the state of Arizona in search of clear skies, dodging bad weather and a dust storm to capture clear images of the moon as it reached its zenith every night. In total, more than two million individual photographs comprise the final timelapse, and each full image in the animation includes between 30,000 and 200,000 image files. A print edition is also available on his website and highlights different features through each phase as the celestial body waxes and wanes.

 

 



Design

A Sleek Pool Reflects an Illuminated ‘Moon’ and the Rugged Landscape of China’s Mount Tai

October 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Syn Architects

A lucent half-circle, “Hometown Moon” is nestled within the rugged topography of China’s Mount Tai. The glowing orb, which was designed by Syn Architects, radiates on a surrounding water feature, creating a dramatic, mirrored reflection that appears to make the cleaved design whole. With illuminated pillars to support the concrete chapel below, the construction mimics “a moon that never sets,” designers told Dezeen. “We returned to the birthplace of Confucianism, rebuilding the relationship between dualities such as city and the countryside.”

Inside the venue, a mountain-like sculpture covered in moss sprawls throughout and ends at the bottom half of the massive design. Similar to its above-ground counterpart, “Hometown Moon” is reflected in a mirrored ceiling to intensify the natural light. It’s the second organically-shaped structure built in the area, with the nearby Gad Line+ Studio terrace evocative of clouds. “The buildings complement each other as symbolic counterparts…after crossing a mountain, a river and exploring a few curved pathways, visitors finally arrive at the building,” Syn Architects said.

For more of the Chinese firm’s projects, visit its site.

 

 

 



Photography

Nighttime Skies Serve as the Dreamy Backdrop for Sophia Ahamed’s Saturated Flowers

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sophia Ahamed, shared with permission

With illuminated slivers of the moon in the distance, a photographic series juxtaposes clusters of flowers in saturated reds and pink with expanses of cloudy, blue skies. Created by Sophia Ahamed, the dreamy works center on seasonal blooms at their peak, highlighting the soft, paper-thin petals of spring and the deep oranges associated with fall.

Despite their entirely organic subject matter and focus on naturally occurring colors and textures, each work is designed to skew perceptions of fiction and reality: Ahamed shoots all of the elements separately and then layers them into new compositions, positioning genuine images into fabricated contexts. “We associate colour with how we perceive the world around us, memories, and emotion,” she says, “Often at times, these elements can act as well as a gentle escape into something more soothing.”

Ahamed, who’s also the design director at the Vancouver-based agency Monograph & Co., shares that the Dark Night series originated from grief and loss, a theme that continues to veil the works with melancholy. “Sometimes we forget that the magic we are seeking in our day-to-day lives isn’t waiting for us on a lavish trip. That magic is all around us, all the time. We just have to be willing to pause and take a look around,” she says.

Prints are available on Ahamed’s site, and you can find more from the series on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Colossal Design

Piece Together the Geography of the Earth and Moon in Infinite Combinations with Nervous System’s Jigsaw Puzzles

May 7, 2021

Colossal

Earth Infinity Puzzle. All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

Longtime Colossal readers are likely familiar with Nervous System’s unmistakable jigsaws, two of which we just added to the Colossal Shop. Both Earth and Moon designs are infinity puzzles, meaning you can start exploring their expansive geographies from any spot—there’s no fixed shape, and they can be completed in thousands of arrangements. Each jigsaw also comes with whimsy pieces and is made from laser-cut birch plywood in the team’s studio in the Catskills.

Pick up the nature-inspired puzzles in the Colossal Shop, where we also have three other Nervous System designs, including a spiraling ammonite fossil, an infinite galaxy, and a unique mesmerizing geode (no two are the same!). If you’re a Colossal Member, everything is 10% off. Just use the discount code in your account.

 

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

 

 



Photography

Who’s Watching Whom? The Moon Forms A Massive Eye Peering Out Over Utah

December 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image © Zach Cooley, shared with permission

Utah is full of strange occurrences these days: first, the mysterious monolith popped up in a remote region of the Southwestern state, and now, the moon was caught peering over its landscape in an act of supernal surveillance.

During Halloween weekend, Phoenix-based photographer Zach Cooley traveled to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, and staked a spot near this sandstone arch that dates back millions of years. The location wasn’t just a good guess—Cooley relied on three smartphone apps to position himself in the right place at the right time. When the moon passed by the opening, he snapped the incredible juxtaposition, revealing a massive eye embedded in the rocky landscape. The fortuitous photograph subsequently was named NASA’s Photo of the Day, which then mused: “Who’s watching whom?”

For more of Cooley’s moon-chasing escapades, check out his Instagram, and pick up a print on his site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)