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Jet by the Light of the Moon

2011 May 12

By Jim Haklar

I have to start off by saying that this is a real, not composite, image. The plane actually flew in front of the moon. It was taken almost three years ago on a sticky summer night at the Edison Environmental Center, EPA’s laboratory facilities in Edison, New Jersey. I didn’t intend to catch a plane flying in front of the moon, but as I was focusing my telescope one plane flew by and I missed the shot. Since the Environmental Center is near the flight path of Newark Liberty Airport, one of the busiest airports in the United States, all I had to do was wait a few minutes for another plane to go by. The only problem I had was fighting off the mosquitoes!

I’ve always been interested in the night sky and I received my first (toy) telescope when I was about six years old. My interest in astronomy increased in high school, but I only started getting seriously into astrophotography – a hobby that combines astronomy and photography – about 10 years ago. Since then I’ve taken pictures of the sun, moon, planets and “deep sky” objects. The hobby has come a very long way since I started looking through a telescope many years ago!

About the author: Jim is an environmental engineer in EPA’s Edison Environmental Center, currently working in the PCB program. Since 1985 he has worked in a number of different programs including water permits and compliance, Superfund, and public affairs.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. kumaran permalink
    May 12, 2011

    jim your write well. the picture is quite mindblowing.

  2. nitereaper permalink
    May 12, 2011

    can u take a snap shot of an owl flying across tha moon?

  3. Kayce permalink
    May 12, 2011

    Really love this photo. Thanks for sharing. I have flown in and out of Newark many times and once broke down on the turnpike with a grey seal bound for CT – in 95 degree sun – did I mention the AC broke down, and I had to beg/borrow/steal all the ice the comfort station was able to spare? We watched many a jet that afternoon. The receiving end rescued the seal, but not me. This is by far the best view of, or from, Newark that I’ve seen.

  4. Ken permalink
    May 13, 2011

    It would be interesting to have the equipment to take close-up high resolution images from miles away. I can only imagine thousands of miles or light years away!

    Great Shot!

  5. martha bethel permalink
    May 16, 2011

    Absolutely amazing….thanks for sharing !

  6. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2011

    Thanks! You’ll see more neat images in the future.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2011

    I actually have an image of birds flying across the Sun, and hopefully I’ll be able to share that picture with everyone in the near future.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2011

    I appreciate the comment. The equipment is really not that complex; a lot of time it’s just a matter of timing and luck!

  9. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2011

    My pleasure!

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