During the night of 5-6 February 2023, the Full Moon appeared around the world in the sky in an interesting position: It was also close to its most distant point on its elliptical orbit around Earth, producing one of the angularly smallest Full Moon of the year (apogee Moon). While watching the moonset from the Soneva Fushi island, the Maldives, my experience was pretty unusual. As the Maldivian island is located close to the equator, the moonset occurred almost straight down the direction just during the dawn. Thus the sky changed from darker blue to purple (so-called the Belt of Venus) and bright blue at the end of the dawn. By that time, the bluish beach started to turn pink thanks to the dawn colors. The Moon itself slowly moved down to the horizon, rapidly affected by the Earth’s atmosphere and thus its brightness and color were changing during the 30-minutes sequence. On the whole of the island, prominent bioluminescence of plankton appeared as the high tide peaked, especially the day before the Full Moon (see note below). It looked like numerous bluish sparkles, best visible just before dawn. What a colorful moonset!
For this image, I used Canon Ra, Tamron 70-200mm (f4.0), and Sigma 50mm (f2.8). The lunar sequence was done with one exposure per 3 minutes (1/15s, ISO 100, F2.8) with the Tamron lens. The bioluminescence sequence was taken the day before (on February 5th in the morning) with the 50mm lens, closer than from the spot where the lunar sequence was captured. The reason for the two-day shooting was the bioluminescence was more active the morning before the Full Moon. The final view is, however, the result of shooting both phenomena from an exact angle and perfectly calculated locations to make the data physically corrected for the final composite.