The amazing show of the Full Moon rising above the Colosseum – 26 Aug. 2018

With its light flooding the sky and covering everything else up there at night, the full Moon is not the best friend of an astronomer, unless it offers something unique. Living in Rome, this happens often, as last night, when we saw the full Moon rising above the Colosseum, an unforgettable view.

The Full Moon rises above the Colosseum at sunset - 26 Aug. 2018

The Full Moon rises above the Colosseum at sunset – 26 Aug. 2018

* Want to print & frame the stunning image above? *
* Download here the high quality version! *

Looking at the full Moon rising or setting is always wonderful and if you are an old friend of mine, you know how much I love imaging it at those very moments! After the memorable, historic total lunar eclipse pairing with Mars last month (a full Moon, after all), I had not enough and waited for the following, 26 Aug. full Moon, to capture it above a very spectacular spot of Rome.

Other than the eclipse, it has been hard this year to catch the rising full Moon from Rome: clouds have been around, every time! The same was likely going to happen for the 26 Aug. full Moon, after many days of unstable and very rainy weather, here in Central Italy. Many clouds were in the sky, again, but I decided to reach the imaging location I selected, from where I could see the legendary Colosseum and the wonderful “Santa Francesca Romana” Basilica. I must admit I was pretty sure it was going to be a failure, with so many clouds especially sitting on the Eastern part of the horizon.

Setup ready to go! On the background, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum

Setup ready to go! On the background, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum

I managed to have my imaging setup ready to go: I was on the field with my sturdy tripod, one of my Canon 5D mark IV DSLR bodies and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Needless to say, I was continuously looking up, checking if it could be rain, ready to leave in a few seconds! But the wind, at some point, started blowing intensively, apparently helping to move the clouds away and the Sun was back for a while, just minutes before it left the sky.

The Earth's shadow rises at sunset.

The Earth’s shadow rises at sunset.

Weather improved significantly, but just when I thought it was no longer a issue, clouds were back from the West, slowly moving East, where of course the Moon was expected to rise. Sure, soon the situation was bad again, but still with some hope to catch our satellite: it was question of minutes, just an handful of minutes, which looked an eternity. Those very dark clouds were going to cover the entire eastern horizon soon, when I started seeing an hint of the rising Moon.

The image at the beginning of this post says how those clouds, at last, added something to the experience! I never saw that gentle, purple hue around the Moon, with our satellite partly covered by irregular clouds, while some much more dense ones covered the scenery from above.Honestly, I could not ask for a better cooperation, so this time I will say: thanks, clouds! Soon after, it was fully cloudy again. Lucky man, this time!

*** If you like the image posted at the beginning, with the full Moon rising above the Colosseum, and would love to print and frame it for your house or office, you can download here a very high-quality file. ***

See you for the next cosmic show!

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