The full Harvest Moon creates brilliant lunar iridescent colors while the red planet Mars (bright dot above & right of moon) shines in conjunction on October 2, 2020 around 10 pm near Denali Park Village, Alaska.
Hold onto your hat because this is a hair-raising tale (with wind-blown tail) as I rode my truck at a full gallop headlong through an Alaska Range canyon southward from cloudy Healy-to-Denali. I was on a mission, bound & determined to witness the precious Harvest Moon & Mars alignment, and I urgently needed to find a gap in the clouds!
I held tight to the steering wheel while my truck/camper rig was bucked around the highway by a supremely powerful wind. The Weather Service alert read “Travelers should watch out for 70-mile-per-hour gusts.” Seriously?! For a brief, uninspired & cloudy moment, I hung my head low and thought to myself, what bad luck… A millisecond later the lightbulb came on and with my head held high I said to myself; Self, high winds have the potential to cause radical CLOUD SHAPES!
With renewed enthusiasm I cantered on until I broke on through to the other side (Doors), saw a gap in the clouds, and FINALLY got to see the Moon near the big bright dot as promised ~ Mars. Click, got it! Oh my, look at those clouds sailing through the conjunction and turning colors! Thank you lunar iridescence (when white moonlight gets refracted into different parts of the color spectrum). CLICK!!!!!!!! And that’s the wild, colorful & swirling shot you see here, framed by some dark spruce trees. It was out of this world!
Denali National Park, Alaska
Nikon D850 with Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
1/15 sec, ƒ/5.6, ISO 1250