By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – It wasn’t a blue moon, but a supermoon over the Gila Valley on Monday.
Local photographers turned their collaborative camera lenses to the sky to view the lunar beauty of the rare moon hovering over the Gila valley this weekend. Local photographer, pastor and plane watcher, Paul Schulz, took the opportunity to capture the beauty of the supermoon with his lens.
“My wife and I drove up to ‘The Wall’ on Mount Graham,” Schulz said. “It is a short wall/guardrail, overlooking the Gila Valley. I was using my Canon 6D, with the 28-300-mm lens, attached to a tripod.”
Schulz told Gila Valley Central that his passion for nighttime photography began while he was a docent for the telescope tours for the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO).
“I suppose it began with my being a docent of the MGIO tours and then being a plane spotter, getting involved with astronomy through all this, and realizing I enjoy doing this,” Schulz said. “Lots of encouraging, teaching, guiding and helping (came) from others, including John Ratje and Craig Nance, former director of MGIO.”
Schulz said he believes his nighttime photography has improved over the years. He said he has taken many photos within the solar system, but wishes to have his camera lens reach even further into the vastness of space.
“It is so neat to take picture(s) (of) these things we can’t see with our eyes very well,” Schulz said.
The Super Moon
The supermoon of Nov. 14 — dubbed the “Beaver Moon” because it falls at a time of year when American settlers trapped beavers ahead of the winter — will be the biggest full moon observers have seen in the sky since 1948. The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034.
A supermoon results when the moon reaches its full phase at the closest point to Earth along the satellite’s elliptical orbit, causing the object to look somewhat bigger and brighter in the sky than usual.