Miguel Claro is a professional photographer, author and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal, who creates spectacular images of the night sky. As a European Southern Observatory photo ambassador and member of The World At Night and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, he specializes in astronomical “Skyscapes” that connect both Earth and night sky. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph “A Pink Sky with a Golden Moon above Niagara Falls.”
In this panoramic view of Niagara Falls, a golden moon rises against the pink band of the anti-twilight arch, an atmospheric phenomenon also known as the “Belt of Venus.”
As a flock of birds soar in the evening twilight, a boat from Hornblower Niagara Cruises — not as iconic as the “Maid of the Mist” that made its first trip in 1846 — is carrying hundreds of people past the American Falls.
This photo was taken on Aug. 23, 2018, three days before the Sturgeon Moon became full. Native Americans called the full moon of August the Sturgeon Moon because the large fish, which are native to the Great Lakes and the Niagara River, are easiest to catch this time of year.
Related: Full Moon Names (and More) for 2019
Together with the smaller Bridal Veil Falls (to the right), the American Falls in this drop a combined 75,750 gallons (286,700 liters) of water per second, according to the Niagara Falls State Park website.
The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are two of three cascades that make up Niagara Falls, the second-largest waterfall system in the world, located on the border between Ontario, Canada and New York State. Both of those waterfalls are on the U.S. side of Niagara Falls, while the famous Horseshoe Falls are in Ontario, Canada.
The largest of the three waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls — also known as the Canadian Falls — allow about 681,750 gallons (2.6 million liters) of water to flow over every second, according to the Niagara Falls State Park. That’s nearly eight times the amount of water that flows over the American and Bridal Veil Falls combined, and it’s enough to fill “about a million bathtubs full of water every minute,” according to NiagaraFalls.ca.
All of the falls combined produce a flow rate of about 3,160 tons of water per second. At that rate, it would take about 222 million years to fill up the volume of the moon — assuming that the moon is hollow, which it isn’t.
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