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Setting Moon

Since we have a fantastic view of the mountains from our backyard, I've been wanting to capture a sunset or a moonset right between Longs Peak and Mount Meeker. Using one of the photography apps that I have, I have been waiting for the sun or moon to set in just the right spot. The sun only sets in this area twice a year - in February and October, and that path is very predictable that if I miss it by a day I can easily shoot it the next day in a slightly different spot. But since the moon's path is (seemingly) more random, it sets in that area about about once per month. If I miss it by a day, the moon sets in a drastically different spot (which is still predictable, but not close enough for me to get a second try).

The first potential moon setting since I started tracking it was on June 16th, in the middle of the night at 2am. I didn't have high expectations because it was night, and that assumption was correct. You can't even see the mountains in the photos when exposing the moon correctly. But this photoshoot taught me that the angle of the moon off the horizon when it sets behind the mountains is 2.6°. Now that I know that, I can more precisely plan out where I need to be the next time the moon is setting in that area.

I calculated the moonset to be right between Longs and Meeker as it crossed the horizon, so The moon set behind the mountains just to the South of where I wanted it to. But I figured that would be the case.

This will be a patient photo shoot. It might take me several years to get it right. But hopefully, I have enough failed photoshoots and learn enough of how to get it right before a super moon on October 15th which happens to set right where I want it to.

A Few Minutes to Moonset
Pitch Black