Saturn & Venus & Moon

One more night. The moon’s passing Venus and Saturn by and the two planets are also splitting. They’re pretty, but they’re not spectacular, while Saturn’s fading fast. (“Fast” = over the next couple of weeks, but still a lot dimmer than it was even a week or two ago.)

Not so much color in tonight’s sunset, but at least the wind’s gone. Mid-sunset you can barely see Saturn.

The moon is now three days old, something like 16% illuminated. Saturn is now well below Venus, much different than just two days ago. You can only wonder what the ancients thought of that, the “stars” moving around in what HAD to be a permanently fixed heaven.

Close up with a longer exposure you can still see the color difference. But Saturn’s apparent color will fade as it gets dimmer, mainly because it will only be visible against a much brighter sunset sky.

As always, the moon’s crescent is so much brighter than it seems when shooting photos. There’s a little bit of detail to be seen there.

But overexpose the illuminated crescent and the Earthshine-lit face of the moon is clearly visible.

Pulling out the iPhone for the wide angle picture, Saturn fades away completely, but now we’ve got Jupiter visible at the top.

Tonight I also had one of the local barred owls in a tree right above me, hooting like a fool, right up until I switched the iPhone to video. Then, dead silence. My video is several minutes long and it didn’t make a peep. I do wonder if turning on the camera turned on some sort of infrared illuminated focusing mechanism and that flashing IR signal was visible to the owl.

I wonder how much of this scene, moon and planets, can be seen by the owl. And what it thinks of it, if anything.

Maybe that’s just us.

Maybe not!

 

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space, Sunsets

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