This year has been great for astrophotography. Among the many astronomical events that have taken place, four supermoons have lit up the night sky with their beauty in 2023. Photographer Soumyadeep Mukherjee set out to capture all four of them, bringing them together in a sweeping sequence that shows their similarities and differences.
“Being an amateur astrophotographer and an avid lover of the sky, I'm always fascinated with all the objects in the sky including the Moon,” Mukherjee tells My Modern Met. Despite his fascination with the cosmos, the Kolkata, India-based photographer rarely gets a chance to capture celestial bodies. “Living in a metro city under Bortle 9 skies, unfortunately I do not get a lot of opportunities to image the deep sky objects. [The] Moon is something that is comparatively less affected by light pollution. Supermoons are always special as they appear larger and brighter than other full moons, and create an excitement among the masses.”
The four supermoons captured by Mukherjee are the July 3 Buck Moon, the August 1 Sturgeon Moon, the blue supermoon from August 30, and the September 29 Harvest Moon. A supermoon is a full moon that occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, which is known as a “perigee.” This makes them appear bigger and brighter in the night sky.
“This image is a part of a long-term project that I'm doing with photographing the full moon every month,” Mukherjee shares. “In 2022, I created a similar image with all the supermoons. This year I had a similar plan with the four supermoons. However, this time I wanted a different representation in the form of a 3D effect.” To document them, the photographer used a Nikon D5600 camera with a Sigma 150-600c lens on a Leofoto tripod. The post processing took him a total of two days.
What makes Mukherjee's image extra special is that it features the last blue supermoon before 2037. A blue moon is the second full moon to occur within a calendar month; so getting the chance to capture two supermoons with such detail within a few weeks is remarkable and exceptional.
To stay up to date with Mukherjee's astrophotography, you can follow him on Instagram.