Raul Roa, an astrophotographer, benefits from living just under the flight route of Los Angeles International Airport by getting breathtaking moon images at night. From his residence in Whittier, California, Roa captures images of the moon as planes fly over its surface. And, he often has a group of friends with him who call themselves the “lunartics.”
The photograph, appropriately titled “Plane Crossing the Moon,” is a testament to Roa’s skill and dedication as a photographer. He captured the exact moment the plane flew across the face of the Moon with perfect timing and a strong eye for detail, resulting in a magnificent juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated objects.
Roa’s passion for astronomy and photography converged beautifully in this particular shot. He describes himself as a “lunatic,” and he has devoted endless hours to watching and photographing the Moon in an effort to capture the ethereal beauty of the Moon in distinctive and alluring ways. He was able to capture a moment that most people would dismiss as a casual happenstance as a result of his perseverance.
The photograph itself is a testament to the wonders of the natural world and the extraordinary abilities of human ingenuity. The Moon, our closest celestial neighbor, has long fascinated humanity, and witnessing an airplane traverse its luminous surface creates a bridge between two realms—the earthly and the cosmic.
Roa’s photograph has garnered widespread attention and praise from both the scientific and artistic communities. It serves as a reminder that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places, and that the universe holds countless mysteries waiting to be discovered.
“There and then I decided to make it my goal to deliberately capture planes crossing the moon. I began to look for the moon as it rose and began to follow its pattern and airplanes patterns as they passed over my home. It was hit and miss the first couple of months but I still managed to capture exciting photos of planes and the moon,” Roa said.
Many factors come into play when taking these images. The moon has to be at the right spot in the sky relative to the plane’s altitude and flight path. Additionally, the right camera settings, moon exposure, and ground positioning all work together to capture the moving plane. The shot is also made or broken by the size of the plane and the position of the moon in the sky.
“The moon low in the sky gives us tiny planes because they have to be low in the horizon as well and therefore much farther away. A higher moon gives up great big planes because they have to be higher in the sky and much closer to us on the ground,” Roa added.
In the end, Roa’s photograph reminds us of the boundless beauty that exists in our world, whether it be the Moon hanging majestically in the night sky or an airplane gracefully traversing its surface. It encourages us to look up, to dream, and to never lose our sense of wonder in the face of the universe’s vastness.