Astronomical art: the changing face of the supermoon

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 07:31 in Astronomy & Space

This year's supermoon was spectacular. But the moon has appeared in many forms, from Raphael's childlike image of a luminous being to Galileo Galilei's drawings of a rocky planetPhotographers took spectacular shots of this year's "supermoon", the visual spectacle that occurs once a year when the full moon is closest to the Earth. Pictures showed the giant moon dwarfing observers and looming over hillsides as if it was approaching the Earth in a science-fiction scenario.It's beautiful that we can still get excited by looking at the moon. It was there before humans were and has been observed and portrayed for thousands of years. It was by looking ever more closely at the moon that people realised what it actually is. Art and science meet in early astronomy.In the middle ages, the sky was understood to be a celestial canopy above the fixed Earth, and the sun and moon were imagined...

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