“A book cover is a distillation, a haiku, if you will, of the story.”
Chip Kidd at TED2012
I had a hard time with this cover, more specifically with the cover image. As the title of my book was going to be Sun and Moon, I naturally wanted both the Sun and the Moon on the book cover. While we usually observe the Sun during daytime and the Moon during nighttime, it is actually possible to see them both during the day. However, at and around new moon we most of the time cannot see the Moon as the Sun is not able to illuminate it. And at full moon, the Moon only rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. So I was hoping to catch a Crescent Moon and the Sun together. But I had to find out that either when both orbs were visible they were too far apart for a cover image or it was too cloudy to even see them.
Then I thought an aurora picture with the Moon in it would work too as the solar wind causes the polar lights. If you have followed my aurora adventure though, you know that this did not happen either. I missed the only chance I got for this picture on my first night in Yellowknife as I had traveled since the early morning hours and was simply too cold and tired to stay up any longer for the shot. The next night was too cloudy for any picture and afterwards the Moon was too far away from the lights for a cover shot.
I started to get desperate. Unexpected help arrived, however, in the form of my foreword author Daniel Reisenfeld. Dan is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Montana and an absolute expert when it comes to the sky. I am deeply grateful that he not only wrote the foreword for Sun and Moon but also provided a lot of insights and thereby helped making the book more accurate. In his foreword he shared what profound impact the first solar eclipse he observed had on him, back when he was still in high school. When I read his foreword, it just hit me: a solar eclipse image! That was to be my cover image.
So what you see on the cover of Sun and Moon is an image from the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse over North America. The bite taken out of the Sun in the lower left corner is the New Moon partly covering the disc of the Sun at the end of the eclipse. I am really happy with this cover image. Experts on Sun and Moon will know right away what they are looking at and people not so familiar with these two orbs will hopefully get a little curious and take a closer look. Open the book. Read Dan’s foreword, look at the pictures, and maybe want to follow me on …another inspiring and informative journey through the world above.