Ballarat photographers capture supermoon

The rise of the supermoon yesterday was anticlimactic for most in Ballarat, as cloud cover obscured the closest moon in nearly 70 years.

But patience paid off for some intrepid Ballarat photographers, as the moon – which appeared 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than normal – emerged in the early hours of this morning.

Randal Smith, who was manning the phones overnight at the ESTA State Emergency Communications Centre in Mt Helen, was disappointed when the moon first rose but later took some spectacular photos.

“On my 4:30am break I popped out to see if I could see anything,” he said.

“And finally it emerged and I could get a clear shot.”

Mr Smith took an early interest in photography after winning a junior photography award presented by The Age for his picture of the reopening of the West Gate Bridge and now relies on photography as an outlet.

“If bad things are happening at work it’s good to wind down and relax by taking photos,” he said.

The term “supermoon” is an unscientific classification describing what happens when a full moon occurs when it is within 90 per cent of its closest position to Earth in its orbit.

This supermoon was 30,000 kilometres closer to earth than usual which was the closest it’s been since 1948.

Though the moon won’t be this close again until 2034, there will still be a chance to see a spectacular moon tonight.

Astronomical Society of Victoria vice-president Perry Vlahos said that tonight will be “almost just as good” and said the best time to view the moon would be around sunset – if the skies are clear.

This story Spectacular supermoon rewards the patient in Ballarat | photos first appeared on The Courier.