Scorpio Full Moon at Sounion

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I checked in with Anthony Ayiomamitis, our friend and astronomy photographer in Athens, to ask him if he had any luck with this weekend’s Full Moon. It’s been a challenging year for him due to the atmospheric conditions in his part of the world. In Anthony’s photographic life, there are no light kits, no blocking out the windows to take control, no backdrops and no manipulation in Photoshop — he is at the mercy of the elements and the cosmos to get a good photo.

Scorpio Full Moon rising over Sounion, the temple of Poseidon. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Scorpio Full Moon rising over Sounion, the temple of Poseidon. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

To create the kinds of images you’ve seen Anthony do, everything has to work out perfectly. The Sun, the Moon and the Earth must align at the right time. The weather must be right. He has to coordinate travel. And finally the technical aspect must go well.

No matter how experienced a photographer is, it’s always possible for something to go wrong — and it’s always possible to get lucky. Most photographers (particularly the best ones) will tell you how much luck factors into their work. Well, a mix of careful preparation and luck.

Anyway, because this weekend’s Full Moon rose (in Athens) in the east a few minutes before sundown, the sky was still bright as the Moon was looming on the horizon, close to the temple.

As the Sun dropped below the horizon, the sky grew darker, which facilitates a high-contrast shot more typical of Anthony’s work — but as that happened the Moon rose higher in the sky, thus further from the temple.

Ideally, the Full Moon would have passed by a few hours earlier, prior to sunset — this way the Sun would have set prior to the Moon rising, resulting in a dark sky with the Moon close to the horizon. Note, when the Full Moon is close, the sunset and moonrise happen at about the same time, but one will usually rise before the other sets.

Here is how the photo above, which is taken facing the east, looks in an astrology chart. Notice that in an astrology-type layout, east is to the left and west is to the right (reversed from a normal map). The dark horizontal line is the horizon.

Chart for Sounion, near Athens, when Anthony took the photo above. Note that the Moon is to the left -- which is east in an astrology chart. The Sun is setting in the west, which is to the right in an astrology chart. You can tell that it

Chart for Sounion, near Athens, when Anthony took the photo above. Note that the Moon is to the left -- which is east in an astrology chart. The Sun is setting in the west, which is to the right in an astrology chart. You can tell that it

Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

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13 Responses to Scorpio Full Moon at Sounion

  1. elizabethe00 elizabethe00 says:

    The photo is perfect. Poseidon/Neptune… gotta love it. Lovely!

  2. liminali liminali says:

    Thank you, Anthony for this lovely photograph of the full moon. The sky was cloudy where I live, so seeing this is much appreciated. It reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting, serene and beautiful.

  3. CaraSusanetta CaraSusanetta says:

    Pablo Neruda captured the full moon weekend for me, most aptly:

    Keeping Quiet

    Now we will count to twelve
    and we will all keep still.

    This one time upon the earth,
    let’s not speak any language,
    let’s stop for one second,
    and not move our arms so much.

    It would be a delicious moment,
    without hurry, without locomotives,
    all of us would be together
    in a sudden uneasiness.

    The fishermen in the cold sea
    would do no harm to the whales
    and the peasant gathering salt
    would look at his torn hands.

    Those who prepare green wars,
    wars of gas, wars of fire,
    victories without survivors,
    would put on clean clothing
    and would walk alongside their brothers
    in the shade, without doing a thing.

    What I want shouldn’t be confused
    with final inactivity:
    life alone is what matters,
    I want nothing to do with death.

    If we weren’t unanimous
    about keeping our lives so much in motion,
    if we could do nothing for once,
    perhaps a great silence would
    interrupt this sadness,
    this never understanding ourselves
    and threatening ourselves with death,
    perhaps the earth is teaching us
    when everything seems to be dead
    and then everything is alive.

    Now I will count to twelve
    and you keep quiet and I’ll go.

  4. Kelly says:

    Thanks Lunesoleil!

  5. Lunesoleil says:

    @Kelly
    The situation of the Greece will improve mercury in Taurus to the trigone of March should emerge solutions. The Greece would have the Sun in Virgin and which would be logical since the degradation is made with the passage of retrograde March in this sign. And the desire to change despite the resistance. With March becomes direct and after to be absolved of the Lunar nodes axis could glimpse of perceptual exit of the tunnel, at least of the plans to take this country in hand as it takes possession of a car when one possesses the key… keep hope in improvement :) :)

  6. Kelly says:

    Greece is my country of birth. And, when I visit I feel the earth through my feet almost gesturing me with a warm welcome. Then again, i have heard many people expressing a similar sentiment. They have 5 months of sunshine (‘iliophania’ in Greek)..and the quality of that sunshine is extraordinary.

  7. Carrie says:

    Thank you Anthony for capturing a memory for me. Thank you Eric for posting it here.

    One of the reasons I love where I live (in the Southwest) is because it lies on almost the same parallel as Greece and has that same golden, honey-kissed light. So beautiful.

  8. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    Thank you, Eric! Now I understand.

  9. Lunesoleil says:

    The full moon show is a magical and eternal time

    Double full moon

    You that strangely shapes my pen
    A harmony of the absence of foam
    For this full moon duo

    An exceptional moment of Ecstasy
    Or abandonment discovers the original
    ” Conscience projector

    Double full moon

    Between the birth and the Lunar
    That maintaining the oracle of the Pharaohs
    Or it goes our emotions
    Looking for an illusion

    Moment of ecstasy made
    Internal world symbolized
    Softness still drunk

    Forever keep it by itself
    History as a King
    Oh double full moon to you

    © Lunesoleil

  10. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    The planets orbit around the Sun counterclockwise from our perspective, but the motion of the Earth (for example Moonrise) has them appear to go clockwise.

    There are two tracks of motion in the chart. The planet’s longitude is where it is in the big wheel; what house it’s in, and how far from the horizon, is about the rotation of the Earth.

  11. susyc says:

    I love the photo. I love how the sunset light is still reaching the escarpment and Sounion with the same gold, pink, orange light that colors the moon…Refreshing after all the photoshopped pictures!!! When I am flush again, I still want to buy some of Anthony’s pics!!

  12. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    Thank you Anthony, I like the haziness of the photo; the muted tones. Due to the sun still being up, no doubt.

    Thanks Eric, for the Astro lesson and photo-art lesson. Could you help with with a simple question? I understand that a chart is flopped from our usual perspective of north and south thus making our first house “under the horizon”. But that would mean the moon was setting in the east (from my perspective as I read a chart since the planets move around the chart counter-clockwise) which of course it is not. I know the planets move around the chart in this manner, but it is counter to the east to west in the sky.

    I’m interested in learning how not to feel dyslexic when considering astrological stuff. Sorry it it’s obvious to everyone else – it has been a point of confusion to me forever.

    Thanks.

  13. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Thank you, Eric and thank you Anthony.

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