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WHAT IS THIS LINE? (on My Super Blue Blood Moon Photo) – Smarter Every Day 188

Hey it’s me Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. Super. Blue. Blood. Moon. I heard those words and I was like “Mmhmm, that’s my life now.” So, here’s the deal. “Supermoon” refers to the fact that the Moon goes around the Earth in an ellipse. When it’s closest to the Earth, that’s called perigee, and when that coincides with a full moon, Bam, supermoon. Makes sense? Really big, really bright. “Blue moon” is the second full moon in a calendar month. A “blood moon” has two meanings. That’s when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon and the umbral shadow of the Earth is cast on the Moon, turning it red, and it looks all freaky and stuff. The second meaning for “blood moon” is when you’re playing Zelda and all the bad guys that you’ve killed respawn and you’ve got to take them back down. Shout out to my boy, Link. I love that game! I have a horse named Elvis. So I live in Huntsville, Alabama. There’s a re— (Laughs) —really cool model of the Saturn V rocket on the side of the interstate at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. My goal is to get a photo of the blood moon as it comes down. Bam. Right there. That’s the photo I want. I just want that blood moon and a rocket. I just think it’s going to be amazing, right? So the first full moon of the month, I went out there and tried my hardest to get photos. I tried to be aligned as the full moon rose, and they weren’t that bad for a first attempt. But the problem was, that particular supermoon was a rising supermoon, meaning I could stand on a bridge just to the west of the rocket. Are your fingernails hurtin’? Yeah. My fingernails— my knuckles hurt too. The super blue blood moon, however, was a setting supermoon. Meaning, I had to be on the opposite side of the rocket, deep in the heart of Huntsville, with no line of sight to the rocket because there was no convenient bridge to stand on. I want to get it right. Obviously this requires math. You have to know where the Moon is setting; you have to know where you are; you have to know where the rocket is; we’re talking celestial alignment. So I called in the big guns. Do you remember Trevor, from the solar eclipse? We did the math together. Three. Two. One. Transit. Oh! It happened! I saw it! So I called him and said, “Dude, will you come down here? Let’s do some math together. And let’s try to figure out what’s going on.” We used a program called “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” that told us exactly where the lunar eclipse was going to be behind the Saturn V. Okay, so my buddy Jared has a drone we did the math and we figured out exactly where the Moon is going to set and how that lines up with the rocket. It’s here at All Nations Church in Huntsville, Alabama. So, Jared is going to fly with his drone, and he’s going to figure out how high we need to be in order for us to see over these trees. (Whirring sounds) Coming left. Yeah. The bad thing about this particular lunar eclipse is that the sun was going to be rising in the east. And the problem is, that means the ambient light was going to blow out the back, the rocket wouldn’t be illuminated enough, so I called the people at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and asked them if they would turn the rocket lights on. “U.S. Space and Rocket Center, this is (unintelligible name), how can I help you?” “Yeah, we was going to cut them on about 5:00, but we can go ahead and cut them on right now, it will just take a couple minutes for my guy to get over there.” The people at the church were super awesome and said I could do whatever I want as long as I didn’t tear up the grass, so we had a sixty-foot boom lift delivered, and Trevor and I put on some harnesses, got up in the bucket, and aligned ourselves for the shot. When we finally got sixty feet up in the air, the lunar eclipse was already underway and all we had to do was wait for it to align with the rocket. The Moon is starting to get covered up by the umbral shadow. And at this point, we are waiting to uh— for the thing to turn red. So we can get the shots with this and that. So this is the point of this video: I was expecting a big blood moon like on Zelda, didn’t happen, but what did happen is a weird, optical phenomenon that I do not understand and it’s making me a little upset because usually I have a pretty good grasp on these things. I don’t know what I took a picture of. There’s a line on the Moon. It happens right at the tip of the rocket, when the Moon comes down, as soon as the very tip of the launch escape system, which is the rocket on top of the rocket, as soon as the Moon crosses that, you can see a line appear across the Moon. And I don’t know what it is. Look, there’s a line that shows up, but it stays even with the tip of the launch escape system, the very top of the rocket. So you think if you planned something for a month you’d be all excited the exact three seconds that it’s happening but I was confused. Like, I thought there was some kind of defect on my sensor ’cause I could see this line and then I was like, “Wait no.” I’m looking through my DSLR so the optical path doesn’t have the sensor in the way; That’s an actual thing I’m seeing. In fact, I commented on it the exact moment it happened. You see that line? What’s that? The line? What do you mean? It’s creating this weird line. The sliver of it, you mean? No, there’s uh— there’s an atmospheric something that’s happening right where it’s touching the— So this is my question, internet. I took photos of the lunar eclipse lined up with the Saturn V because I thought “Hey this went to the moon, that’s the moon that would be a good photo.” What, instead I got, was a question. “What is goin’ on?” I think–is it a mirage? How can it be a mirage if it’s at an angle? There’s no cables at the top of the rocket. There were no airplanes in the area, this isn’t a contrail. I thought it was a cloud but it’s not there until the moon gets there. The tip of the rocket’s here but it’s causing a line over here. Why is it just at the tip and then what—? It’s not Schlieren. No, it’s not Schlieren. I don’t know. So, there. Internet. I have a question. “Why is there a line on my lunar eclipse photos?” Specifically at the junction of the Launch Escape System on the Saturn V rocket. I don’t know the answer. I would love for you to tell me the answer via Twitter. I have two Twitter accounts. I have @SmarterEveryDay @DestinSandlin. No this is not an attempt to get you to follow me on Twitter. I really want to know the answer. So, like, if you actually know if you could be like “Hey, I actually know.” and then tweet me the answer, I would greatly appreciate that. Thank you for making me Smarter Every Day. Thanks, bye. Alright, I hope you enjoyed this episode of Smarter Every Day. That is a difficult shot, because you’ve got the sun coming up over the other side of the earth from the moon and so you have the ambient light on the subject that you’re trying to shoot. It’s a hard, it’s a hard shot! Would you agree, Trevor? “I would, yes.” Yeah, so, if you want to try this, I would love to see your photos. The Moon is awesome! We’re going back to the Moon and I just want people to be excited about it. So if you wouldn’t mind tagging me on Twitter @SmarterEveryDay any time you take really cool photos of the Moon, I would love to see your work. I’ll leave links down below to all the math Trevor helped us figure all that out. I’ll leave these images for the patrons on the Patreon feed. Please feel free to check it out. Feel free to subscribe to @SmarterEveryDay if you’re into that sort of thing. Anyway, I’m Destin, and we gotta get off this thing because it is cold. Anyway, have a good one! Bye. “You guys have harnesses?” “We got harnesses so we don’t fall out of the boom lift!” If I put this at the very end of the video, we can say “Safety Last.” (laughs) We should cut this off.
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