Dawn’s Early Lights II

Here’s a wider shot of the Moon-Jupiter-Venus gathering at dawn on July 14.

The clouds parted nicely for a clear view of the sky where it needed to be clear (a rare occurrence!) while adding their colour to the pre-dawn scene. I like cooperative clouds. Let’s see if they behave for tomorrow morning’s closer conjunction.

— Alan, July 14, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer


Dawn’s Early Lights

Venus and Jupiter are reprising their mutual meetings of earlier this spring, but now in the pre-dawn summer sky.

This was the scene at 4 a.m. from home on July 14, with the waning crescent Moon, here overexposed, above Jupiter and Venus at dawn. Next to Venus is the star Aldebaran and the stars of the Hyades star cluster in Taurus. Above the Moon is the Pleiades star cluster.

On July 15, the Moon will appear between Venus and Jupiter for one of the best conjunctions of 2012.

— Alan, July 14, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer


Circling Star Trails in the Rockies

Let the camera shoot for a few hours and this is what you get: stars circling the sky, turning into concentric paths around the North Star.

For this image I stacked 230 short exposures, each 50 seconds long, taken over about 4 hours time on July 7/8. My previous blog entry is one of those individual frames. But in this composite, the stars become trails rotating about the pole of the sky, near Polaris, the North Star, here over Num-Ti-Jah Lodge at Bow Lake in Banff. Moonlight provides the illumination and turns the sky blue, just as in daytime, only much dimmer. But the long exposures bring out the colours and make the scene look like daylight, because the light of the Moon is daylight, just reflected first off the Moon’s neutral grey face.

The same frames used to make this still frame composite can also be used to make a time-lapse movie of the circumpolar stars turning.

— Alan, July 14, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer

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