Italian primary school teacher Marcella Pace has always had a passion for astronomy. This has led her to pursue astrophotography and, over the years, she's seen her work selected by NASA as an Astronomy Photo of the Day and has been shortlisted in the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards. In particular, her image of 48 colorful moons has garnered her quite a bit of attention. The work pulls together 10 years' worth of imagery and is a true sight to behold.
“During the lockdown, I spent quite a bit of time at home so I had a lot of time to look back through my old images,” Pace tells My Modern Met. “Looking back through my photos, I decided to pick out all the full moons that I'd photographed since I started using a digital camera. I chose the 48 most colorful, ones taken as the moon was rising or setting or when atmospheric scattering caused interesting coloration.”
So, while the final composite displays work done over 10 years, Pace is careful to note that it doesn't actually take that long to photograph so many colors of the moon. In fact, in a recent photograph taken during moonrise, it's possible to see all the different colors that it takes on as it makes its way up different layers of the atmosphere.
While many of Pace's photographs have received praise, her colorful composite has, in particular, take on a life of its own. After being selected as a NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day in November 2020, it's continued to circle the internet. “There's something magnetic about the photo and I get daily compliments about it from around the world,” Pace says. “It's really important to me that this photo carries a message of respect for all forms of life. To live in harmony we need to be aware that it's not just fellow man that is our neighbor, but that all forms of life are on this eternal path with us. It's a path that isn't a circle with man at the center, but a spiral that is constantly evolving.”