NASA Wants to See Your Best Photos of the Moon

A total lunar eclipse begins as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Arlington, VA. From beginning to end, the eclipse will last about three hours and twenty-eight minutes. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA will soon launch the Artemis I which will fly 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and back to demonstrate the capability of sending humans back to lunar orbit. To celebrate, NASA wants to see everyone’s best moon photos in its #NASAMoonSnap campaign.

Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that are designed to enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars and is scheduled to launch on August 29, 2022. Its mission will last 42 days, three hours, and 20 minutes where it will travel 1.3 million miles on its trip to the moon, around it, and then back to Earth where it will splash down int he ocean on October 10.

“The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II,” NASA says.

The Moon is seen rising behind NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out to Launch Complex 39B for the first time, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the fully stacked and integrated SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft will undergo a wet dress rehearsal at Launch Complex 39B to verify systems and practice countdown procedures for the first launch. | Photo Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

“In anticipation of this monumental milestone, NASA wants to see, hear, and experience all of your Moon-inspired content — your Moon photographs, your Moon music, your Moon recipes, your Moon nail art, your Moon makeup tutorials. The sky is not the limit!”

There are three social media platforms that photographers can use to submit their work:

  • Instagram: Use the Instagram app to upload your photo or video, and in the description include #NASAMoonSnap or tag @NASAArtemis in your stories
  • Twitter: Share your image on Twitter and include #NASAMoonSnap in the tweet
  • Facebook: Share your image on Facebook and include #NASAMoonSnap in the post
  • Reddit: Share your image on Reddit and include #NASAMoonSnap in the post title or as a comment

NASA will be sharing a variety of these “Moon Snaps” on its social media accounts, its website, and during the Artemis I launch broadcast, and encourages anyone interested in being part of the shared experience to send in their images. The full terms and conditions of usage can be found on NASA’s website.

“I find that so many people connect to Sun and Moon photography, and indeed Astrophotography, perhaps because it is a common shared experience for all on Earth? These are peaceful and amazing shared wonders,” Bill Ingalls, NASA Headquarters senior contract photographer, tells PetaPixel, explaining why the Moon is one of the most timeless subjects for photographers around the world.

A composite of seven images shows the full moon at perigee, or supermoon, during a total lunar eclipse on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Denver. The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
A total lunar eclipse is seen as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Arlington, VA. From beginning to end, the eclipse will last about three hours and twenty-eight minutes. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Ingalls started as an intern at NASA in 1987 and became a contact photographer in 1989. He has photographed numerous Apollog anniversary events and of course the Moon as part of his time with NASA. One of the first photos he ever made of the Moon was when it was paired with the Space Shuttle Discovery:

Space Shuttle Discovery
A nearly full Moon sets as the space shuttle Discovery sits atop Launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

For those looking to tap into Ingalls’s knowledge to capture a memorable photo, he says there are a couple things to keep in mind.

“I always suggest that while photographing the Moon on it’s own can be fun — try to incorporate the Moon with your local landscape, during Moonrise and Moonset, or find a fun way to incorporate people, animals, etc. into your photo,” he says.

“As with any photography, makes notes for yourself on what worked and what did not and why something worked and why it did not.
Most importantly, there really are no rules: have fun. Always be honest in your description of the image. If using multiple images to make an illustration, say so when sharing.”

A supermoon rises behind the Washington Monument, Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Washington. This year the Supermoon is up to 13.5% larger and 30% brighter than a typical Full Moon is. This is a result of the Moon reaching its perigee – the closest that it gets to the Earth during the course of its orbit. During perigee on 23 June the Moon was about 221,824 miles away, as compared to the 252,581 miles away that it is at its furthest distance from the Earth (apogee). Photo Credit: | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 12, 2015. NASA Astronaut Wilmore, Russian Cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are returning after almost six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42 crews. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The full Moon sets in the fog behind the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, Saturday, July 12, 2014, launch Pad-0A, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Antares will launch with the Cygnus spacecraft filled with over 3,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. The Orbital-2 mission is Orbital Sciences’ second contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. | Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Hopefully Ingalls’s photos inspire photographers to capture their unique perspectives of the Moon and share them with the organization as part of the #NASAMoonSnap campaign, the full details of which can be found on NASA’s website.