Moon Dance

One Maine photographer’s quest to capture the full moon.

Photographed by Jim Nickelson

[H]oping to ignite in others a sense of wonder for the moon, midcoast photographer Jim Nickelson has set out to capture each full moon of the year from somewhere in the Maine landscape. A full moon occurs when that celestial orb is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun and all three bodies are aligned. Nickelson credits his own appreciation for the moon to his University of Texas professor, the late Victor Szebehely, a pioneer in the field of orbital mechanics. “Dr. Szebehely had a long-running joke where he refused to give us any homework on the night of a full moon,” Nickelson writes on his website ( “Instead, he’d tell us with his thick Hungarian accent, ‘It is full moon. You have more important things to do.’” Nickelson’s project is called Adventures in Celestial Mechanics, after Szebehely’s book of the same name.