The thin waxing crescent Moon returned to the evening sky tonight, seen here in the deepening blue of a New Mexico evening.
I’m in Silver City, New Mexico (altitude 5900 feet) for a few days and nights, checking out places to spend next winter, under clearer and warmer skies than back home … and with rarely any snow to shovel.
This was the scene tonight, on the ranch road with one of the prime property choices – astronomers check real estate locations by day and night!
The crescent Moon is lit by Earthshine as it sits amid the deep blue twilight. The stars of Taurus show up flanking the Moon, with the Hyades at left and Pleiades at right.
This image is a high-dynamic range stack of 6 exposures from 2 to 20 seconds, to capture the ground detail without blowing out the Moon. Lights from an approaching pickup truck nicely lit the trees during the final longest exposure.
For the technically minded, I stacked the images using Photoshop CC HDR Pro, then “tone-mapped” them using Adobe Camera Raw in 32 bit mode.
The sky was hazy all day and evening, from wind-blown dust common to the area. Fierce southerly winds were whipping up dust all day, which hung in the sky all evening as well.
The sunset was a golden yellow from all the dust in the air. Once it got dark the sky lacked the ideal desert transparency, muting the zodiacal light I saw last night from the Chiricahuas.
Not every night is perfect in the high desert!
– Alan, April 30, 2014 / © 2014 Alan Dyer