Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moon and Venus, 4/19/2007, 7:58 PM

Well, this would be a really cool picture if Blogger would let me upload it.

Go and see for yourself! The Moon and Venus should be in the Western sky tonight until about 10:00 or so!

UPDATE, 9:29 PM: Ah, there we go:
The Moon and Venus, Thursday April 19 2007, 7:58 PM EDT

UPDATE 2, 10:54 PM: I took a lot of other pictures throughout the night. I haven't looked at them all yet, but here's the last one of the night, taken at 9:12 PM. I had to play with the brightness and contrast a lot to bring out the Pleiades (the "Seven Sisters", sometimes misidentified as the "Little Dipper", which is actually a lot bigger and in a whole other part of the sky) at the bottom center. There are two other bright stars visible in this picture whose identities I haven't checked yet.
Venus, the Moon, and the Pleiades,
Thursday April 19 2007
, 9:12 PM EDT

UPDATE 3, 11:30 PM: OK, this is just nuts. I played with some more of the photos, playing with the contrast to tease out detail - and look at the results!
This is the Big Dipper, or the Plough, or the (inverted) Great Bear. I've cropped and rotated it to be in its familiar configuration. In the enlarged version of the image (right-click and open in new Window) you can clearly see the double star in the handle.
Here's another view of the Pleiades. The blue haziness isn't just a contrast artifact - I believe it's actually the nebulosity that envelops the Seven Sisters showing up in my image!

Keep in mind that these pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix L4 camera in "Dusk/Dawn" mode, using the self-timer to eliminate vibration from pressing the shutter button. The camera was mounted on a plastic $7 Kmart tabletop tripod with aftermarket foam rubber feet held on with Scotch Tape, all securely located on the roof of my car for stability. Not too shabby!


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

The sky is too cloudy here to see it so I thank you for posting the pic. :-)

Lauren said...

If it wasn't for you, I would never know when a cool celestrial event was happening.