The waxing crescent Moon shines amid the stars of the Hyades cluster.
I shot these on the evening of March 24 when, from western North America, the Moon appeared superimposed in front of the sprawling Hyades star cluster in Taurus.
The main image at top is with a 200mm telephoto lens and takes in most of the Hyades and the bright red star Aldebaran at lower left. Unfortunately, it also includes a blue lens flare from the brilliant and overexposed crescent, a tough element to “photoshop” out.
The image is a high dynamic range stack of 3 exposures. Even so, I purposely overexposed the Moon to bring out the stars and their colours.
This close up of the Moon includes fewer Hyades stars, but with the Moon centred I was able to avoid the lens flare. It’s an HDR stack of 5 exposures, to capture details in the sunlit crescent as well as on the dark side of the Moon lit by blue Earthshine.
These are the last telescopic shots from my winter in New Mexico, as the telescope and mount gets packed up tomorrow, in preparation for the trip back to Canada.
It’s been a fabulous winter of sky shooting, with some 500 gigabytes of images shot, processed, and archived!
– Alan, March 24, 2015 / © 2015 Alan Dyer / www.amazingsky.com