Big Telescope, Bigger Moon

A full Moon is arguably the worst time to do any optical astronomy, whether it’s with a backyard telescope or at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, near Tucson, Arizona. But the full Moon does make for a spectacular view to the naked eye and in this shot beautifully illuminates the surrounding desert landscape. Taken from the west of KPNO, this image appears to show the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope eclipsing nearly half the diameter of the Moon after moonrise. The Mayall telescope is home to the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). DESI, led by the US Department of Energy, is acquiring the spectra of tens of millions of galaxies and quasars to construct a 3D map that will reveal the effects of dark energy in the Universe.

This image was taken before the 2022 Contreras Fire, which affected KPNO. Read more here.

Credit:

M. Hunt/KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

About the Image

Id:iotw2250a
Type:Photographic
Release date:Dec. 14, 2022, noon
Size:4892 x 2752 px

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