Making the invisible visibile

THE MOON AT 2% ON MODICA, TAKEN BY DIRECTOR ALESSIA SCARSO, BECOMES EPOD, PHOTO OF THE EARTH OF THE DAY

Luna al 2% su S. Giovanni
Luna al 2% su S. Giovanni

MODICA – The acronym EPOD stands for Earth Picture of the Day, and is a service curated by NASA’s Earth Science Division and the EOS Project Science Office at Goddard Space Flight Center, in collaboration with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) consortium, that publishes an evocative annotated image related to Earth science each day. On January 24, 2020, USRA chose a photo by filmmaker Alessia Scarso as its Earth photo of the day.

The photo portrays a slice of crescent moon at 2%, invisible to the human eye, on the suggestive skyline of the highest part of the city of Modica, where the façade of the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista shows imposingly.

A passion, that for astrophotography, which continues to give great satisfaction to the Sicilian director, already the only Italian selected in the prestigious competition Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 with an evocative view of a lunar eclipse on Etna in this period on display at the Royal Museums of Greenwich, and already known to the general public for having directed Italo, a successful film released in 2015 that tells the story of the stray Scicli became mascot of a community.

“The photo was taken on the evening of December 27, 2019. It is not a technically simple photo, it must be admitted. In this case, the challenge was to make visible what is invisible to the naked eye. In fact, the moon at that level of brightness can only be seen through camera sensors set to specific parameters. Thanks to some calculations, surveying and a lot of patience, I set up in an open field on the hill in front of the skyline, sat on the gable, and waited. The weather conditions were not ideal because a disturbance closed the horizon, but at the exact hour the cloud cluster lifted, lightened the sunset line and made the final image more striking.

Sometimes the unexpected delivers surprises rather than compromising opportunities. There are many things we have stopped looking at. By not looking we don’t see, by not seeing we forget, and by forgetting we stop appreciating. There is a whole universe beyond us, and a mother nature to which we belong, which we have hidden with light, noise and environmental pollution. We are forgetting that we are part and custodians of all this, we have never received any title of superiority over creation, if not critical thinking, which seems to me lately does not coincide with caring. The modern naked eye struggles. Contemporary thinking is fast and less conscious. I feel the need to keep alive this relationship of amazement and contemplation with the natural elements, and within the limits of what I can, to divulge their Beauty. To make visible what has become invisible”.

link to the photo on the USRA institutional website USRA.

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