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Photos: Howling at the moon

The moonrise over downtown Anchorage, photographed from the roof of the 15-story Inlet Tower. Nov 29, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The moon, shown here during a faint partial eclipse in the early morning hours of Nov. 28, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Moonrise over downtown Anchorage. Nov. 28, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
An almost full moon rises over Merrill Field. Nov. 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A full moon shines brightly over the Birchwood airport. Sept. 30, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The moon rises over the Knik river as the northern lights dance on the horizon. Nov. 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
An airplane takes off from Merrill Field as an almost full moon rises behind. Nov. 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The full moon rises over the port of Anchorage. Nov. 28, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The moonrise over downtown Anchorage, photographed from the roof of the 15-story Inlet Tower. Nov 29, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
An almost full moon shines over Turnagain Arm, as seen from the Alaska Railroad. Oct. 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The moon rises over the Knik river as the northern lights dance on the horizon. Nov. 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

The moon has captured the imagination of humans since time immemorial. It has guided travelers through the night and put smiles on the faces of children and lovers. It gives us our tides and, some would say, also shapes our emotions.

During the Alaska winter, the moon reflects off of the snow, illuminating the cold night with an almost unnatural brilliance. When combined with the northern lights, the heavenly display is breathtaking.

Last week's full moon is waning, but it will return Christmas week. Here's a chart of the moon phases for December, seen from Anchorage. 

In late 2012, Alaskans were treated to a partial lunar eclipse. While faint, it was enough to keep some people up all night. This is also the time of year when a large full moon rises above downtown Anchorage, just as the sun is setting. Some of the best views of the moon over the city are from Point Woronzof. If you go with the intent of taking photos, bring a long telephoto lens, as downtown is about three miles away.