The eclipse on the Gulf of Poets enchants NASA

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The eclipse on the gulf of poets. Credits & Copyright: Paolo Lazzarotti

I do like this, thanks for submitting it. It looks quite beautiful. With these words, the NASA Apod editor communicated to Paolo Lazzarotti, born in 1973, always a lover of photography, that his work starring the last lunar eclipse had been chosen as today’s astronomical image, Thursday 2 August. L’ Apod (Astronomy Picture of the Day) is a site created by NASA that selects – one a day – the most beautiful images of astronomical events or space exploration. Breath-taking shots. Shots like these by Lazzarotti, a photographer who started his career with astronomical subjects, impressing kilometers of negatives, then moving on to landscapes and portraits that he captures with digital SLR cameras.

Lazzarotti’s Apod portrays, from beginning to end, the entire duration of the totality of the lunar eclipse that occurred on July 27 last: with a duration of 103 minutes, it was the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. What is visible in the composition is a dreamlike scene, which includes a sequence of digital camera exposures taken every three minutes. The exhibits trace the totally eclipsed lunar disk – accompanied that night by a brighter planet Mars than usual – as it climbs over the seaside village of Tellaro, in Italy. In the foreground is the peaceful Mediterranean gulf of La Spezia, known as the Gulf of Poets. Contacted by Media Inaf, the photographer who enchanted NASA answered our questions.

She is a lover of photography for the astronomical one. How did this image come about?

«The realization of the sequence was relatively simple since it was enough for me to program, using a remote control that arrived the same afternoon (!), The sequence of shots every 3 minutes and to let the reflex shoot in total autonomy, while I was enjoying it show despite the disturbance of heavy veiling that sometimes hid the satellite ».

Did it take a long preparation?

«I would say yes: in recent days I studied at desk with dedicated software the path in the sky of the Moon to understand where it was more appropriate to take it, since it would always remain very low above the horizon, and therefore I thought it was interesting to surround it with a beautiful terrestrial landscape. My choice therefore fell near Tellaro, the village that closes the Gulf of Poets to the south, on which it would have passed, thus creating an interesting frame ».

A great satisfaction, this of Lazzarotti, who just two other Italian astrophotographers tried yesterday, Franco Sgueglia is Francesco Sferlazza, whose image starring the Iris nebula shrouded in dust, it was chosen and awarded with the Astronomy Picture of Day on Wednesday 1st August.

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