Spectacular Moonrise Surprises Veteran Night Sky Photographer (Image)

Moonrise Over Ocean City, New Jersey
Astrophotographer Jim Abels traveled to Ocean City at the bottom of New Jersey to capture this moonrise and the Milky Way. Image submitted April 25, 2014. (Image credit: Jim Abels)

A trip to the beach to photograph a meteors led to an unexpected, and amazing, encounter with the moon for one veteran astrophotographer.

Night sky photographer Jim Abels was at the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey, last month when a dazzling view of the moon caught him by surprise.

"I traveled to the bottom of N.J. to get away from the impeding light pollution to capture the coming meteor shower … instead, I captured a beautiful moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean with the Milky Way hovering above," Abels wrote in an email to Space.com. [Amazing Stargazing Photos for May 2014]

12" Moon Globe. Buy Here (Image credit: Space.com Store)

Abels used a Nikon D800 camera shooting at 14mm f/2.8 25 seconds at ISO 3200.  He submitted the image on April 25.

Light pollution is excessive or misdirected artificial, outdoor lighting that limits the visibility of objects in the night sky. It competes with starlight, making it difficult for astronomers to sometimes capture the Milky Way, galaxies and even nebulae.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.