Of Full Moons and Fake News

Brian Hester Reporting

May 8, 2020

Last nights “Super Flower Moon” appears to rise alongside one World Trade Center in NYC. Unless you caught it earlier yesterday morning at moonset, this was your last opportunity to see a supermoon where it looks biggest and best—on the horizon—until summer 2021. The full moon will appear about six percent larger than a typical full moon. The final of four so-called “supermoons” in 2020, today’s full moon phase occurs at precisely 10:45 Universal Time.

Composite creation by Brian Hester

In these days of coronavirus, we are bombarded with news and information seemingly from all sides. We, as responsible citizens, must hold ourselves accountable to verify all sources of information currently. Fact checks. We need fact checks. Shame on the person that sees and accepts all information placed in front of them as truth without fact checking.

As I stated above, last night’s full moon, “appears to rise alongside”. It did in fact rise. And the World Trade Center was there. But this is where we, as good responsible citizens, need be most alert. I have gone to great lengths over the past 2/3 years to learn a lot about capturing amazing moon photos. I have learned by at times having the opportunity to work alongside of some incredibly talented photographers. At other times I learn by studying the work of the great masters. I also utilize an app called Photo Pills, available for about $10, that helps to plot the moon and the stars. The photo below from last evening is not the most sucessful as I had sought to line up the rising moon with One World Trade Center. Last monhts efforts to line to full moon up with the Empire State Building was much more successful. Click here to see last months full moon photos.

The Super Flower Moon rises above NYC as One Warld Trade Center lights up lower Manhattan. Photo by Brian Hester

It’s still not an exact science. I have gone out many nights after planning a location and lining up all the elements only to have cloud cover roll in at the last minute. At other times I have been unable to access my originally planned location and have to adjust on the fly. Last night was one of those nights. My originally selected location had no parking any where in the area and my second, or back up location, had way to many unmasked pedestrians for my tastes. I settled on a quiet, secluded, side street with a clear view to One World Trade Center as my goal for last night was to have a photo of the “Super Flower Moon” rising alongside of that iconic NYC landmark.

One World Trade Center at dusk last evening. Photo by Brian Hester

This is where the fact checking needs to be done. We need to examine things. News items especially. Articles and photos alike. Sources. Facts. The reality is some people go to great lengths to capture high quality, well composed photos of the moon over icon locations. Planning. Plotting. Driving. Sitting outside at all hours of the day and night. Other simply photoshop their creations. Some of these folks have no sense of spacial relations as they place moons over locations in a scale such that the entire Earth would be destroyed if it were to ever get actually that close. There is nothing wrong with composites per se, however often the “artist” tends to try and to pass these composites off as actual photos. Fact Check. Last night I did not get the photo I had hoped for but it did provide me with an opportunity to shed some light on news and news sources in these unprecedented times. Fact Check. Always Fact Check.

The Super Flower Moon is seen above the NJ Turnpike. Photo by Brian Hester

Composite creation by Brian Hester

Composite creation by Brian Hester

The Super Flower Moon rises above NYC last evening. Photo by Brian Hester

Added bonus to see some of the absolute best moon over NYC photos Follow the instagram accounts of Gary Hershorn or Max Guliani

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