This is a 3 metre montage of sequential photos taken from my flat during the course of one night, following the moon from dusk to sunrise. As the moon does, the photos sail high up during the night, starting above my front door, floating over my block, then slowly descending over the block opposite.
It commemorates how, during the night after Storm Eunice, the fastest recorded winds in England blew the clouds away and displayed the glorious moon.
Each image has a title chosen from the Holy Quran.
The moon is so beautiful, and the Quran describes it in poetic, expressive and articulate language.
Starting with dusk:
The baby blue evening sky is laced with airy pink. Beautifying a nondescript London building.
This gorgeous miracle happens every day!
And doesn’t the Quran describe it splendidly:
.. In truth He wraps the night over the day and wraps the day over the night Q39/5
Then comes Moon rise:
You have to look eastwards out of my front door to see the moon rise.
Here’s my view, collaged, through purple pillars (that only residents of the block see).
Then over a zebra crossing and into the little park in Brunswick Square, with that glorious two hundred year old plane tree.
And when [Abraham] saw the moon rising, he said this is my Lord. When it set he said unless my Lord guides me I will surely be among the people gone astray Q6/77
And truly, the moon rising is extraordinary!
Luckily the Lord guided Abraham, and made it clear that the moon is definitely not to be worshipped:
And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostate to Allah, who created them, if it should be Him that you worship Q41/17
The moon then goes westwards up and over my building.
When the cloud-cover is favourable, you can see it really very high over my balcony.
Here it is, when the moon woke me up at 00.45, then 02.22.
Then it goes gently downwards along the building opposite.
The Sun and the moon move by precise calculation Q55/5
I didnt set my alarm – just knew that if the moon wanted me there she would wake me.
And indeed she did: at 04.20.
I slept again, and by 06.31, the sky was less black, more navy. Then I stayed awake and it all got even bluer at 06.42
By 07.07 dawn has dawned. The moon was a small silver white disk on a white blue sky.
Does the moon look smaller because we’ve lost the contrast with the dark night sky? Or because its somehow further away?
It is not for the Sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day but each, in an orbit is swimming Q36/40
Then comes sunrise:
By the sun and its brightness .. and by the day when it displays it Q91/1-3
Here I am looking towards sunrise – also near to moonrise – out of my front door.
This is the earth and the moon definitely dancing – or swimming together.
I’ve learnt such a lot from observing the moon – in different phases, and for well over a year.
Sometimes she goes down in the night, only a little way along the block opposite – sometimes moon-set is later, and she’s still up well after dawn.
The Quranic description of the earth and the moon ‘swimming’ together is a clear and beautiful description of how the two objects are tidally locked.
It’s consistent with Western astronomy: the “orientation of the moons orbit is not fixed in space but rotates over time. This orbital precession is called apsidal precession”. And then there’s lots of other other sorts of regular irregularities with the moon: with sidereal periods, synodic periods, and so on.
Even in the very centre of a large city, you too can see the miracles of our World.