13346291_1015685631818451_7355454403111797099_o.jpgSunrays shine through a foggy forest canopy in this majestic photo of Redwood National and State Parks (NPS) in California. Redwoods get about 40 percent of their water intake from coastal fog. Photographer Michael Ryan hadn’t planned to shoot that evening, but when he saw light blasting through the forest canopy, he knew he was finally in the right place at the right time. “Fleeting moments like these don’t come often, and I feel extremely fortunate that I had the experience I wanted. Suffice to say, it was one I will never forget.” Photo courtesy of Michael Ryan.— with Michael Ryan Photography at Redwood National and State Parks (NPS). (Via Department of the Interior Facebook page.)

A Lunar Portrait

Daguerreotype of the Moon from March 1840, attributed to Dr. John William Draper.
Original image courtesy of Prof. Baryd Still, NYU Archives.

This is the oldest surviving photo of the moon.

These days anyone with a cheap point-and-shoot camera or even a cell phone can snap a picture of the Moon (although I highly advise using at least an entry-level dSLR) but there was a time when that wasn’t the case. Go back to the late 1830s, when photography was in its infancy and methods for capturing light and shadows for posterity were on the cutting edge of invention, and the Moon was an elusive target for even the most skilled practitioners. But, in March of 1840, John William Draper changed that with his lunar “portrait”—the world’s first true astrophoto.

Thanks to Lights in the Dark for sharing. Read the full post here: This is the Oldest Surviving Photo of the Moon.