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Full moon looms under icon of Paris in incredible photo

The full moon beneath Paris' Arc de Triomphe on April 17, 2022.
The full moon beneath Paris' Arc de Triomphe on April 17, 2022. (Image credit: Thierry Legault)

Moon, meet monument.

The full moon of April 17 was caught beneath the notable Parisian landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, by long-time French astrophotographer Thierry Legault (opens in new tab). (We've featured his work on Space.com numerous times.)

"It's a single exposure: no stacking, no assembling, no tampering . . . as close as possible to the real scene," Legault said on Twitter (opens in new tab). He used a Sigma fp L camera and Sigma Art 135mm/F1.8 lens to achieve the epic shot.

The arch was first commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, following a major victory at the Battle of Austerlitz — a key moment in the Napoleonic Wars during which the French attempted to gain dominion over much of Europe. Napoleon was eventually ousted from his emperor position and died in exile in 1821.

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Architect Jean-François Chalgrin used the Roman Arch of Titus as his inspiration; that 1st century monument (unfortunately) commemorates the Roman victory during the the Jewish War in Roman-controlled Judea of 66 to 74 CE, according to Yeshiva University (opens in new tab). (That war notably included the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, which was never rebuilt.)

The Arc was completed in 1836 and today hosts the French unknown soldier from the First World War. It also serves as the starting point of Bastille Day celebrations, the official website for the Arc said (opens in new tab).

If you'd like to snap a good photo of a future full moon, check out our guide on how to photograph the moon. (The next full moon will occur on May 15 and 16.) Our overview on the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography can help you get started finding equipment. 

And if you'd just like to observe the moon, our guides for the best telescopes and best binoculars can help you find the gear you need.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.