The sky turns the year putting a great show out there: the Moon, Venus, Mars and Neptune: 30 Dec. 2016 and 01 Jan. 2017
While 2016 approached its end, ready to welcome 2017, the sky putted a marvelous great show out there, with the sharp Moon crescent and a planetary parade with the very bright Venus, the palely red Mars and Neptune, the last one in conjunction with the red planet.
I planned to capture some sights, hoping in good weather. On 30 Dec. 2016, while in Frosinone (Central Italy), I was amazed by the stunning sunset above: a very sharp, small Moon crescent was beautifully hanging over a legendary landscape, with unbelievable colors. You can have seen a sunset millions of times, but they will always feel you with “awe and reverence”.
The next day, 31 Dec. 2016, the sky was quite cloudy at sunset and, while I missed the Moon, I was still able to grab a unique beauty. The profile of the Lepini Mounts, as seen from a place between Ferentino and Anagni (Central Italy), with those clouds above them, made the sight unforgettable. It was hard to move away from this view and say good bye to 2016.
The next sunset, the first of 2017, the sky was clear again and the Moon was having a large, though breathtaking conjunction with Venus. In the same corner of the sky, Mars was emerging from an extremely close conjunction with Neptune.
Some very delicate clouds, with pink colors, where crossing an otherwise blue sky, providing a hue contrast of rare elegance.
As darkness increased, the view of the Moon crescent with the diamond-like light of Venus was a show by itself. I managed to capture both in the same frame here:
With the darker sky, the lunar’s Earthshine was stunning. I always find it truly mind-blowing and this time there was an ephemeral cloud around making the light much more interesting.
Finally, I wanted to try to image also Mars and Neptune, invisible to the naked eye, as they had – early on 1 Jan. 2017 – an extremely close conjunction. Of course, I wanted to include Venus, too, and below is the resulting shot.
All these images were taken with my two Canon 7D mark II DSLR bodies and several lenses.
Let’s have fun with the sky this new 2017!
Back to “Star Words”
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive a stunning, LIMITED EDITION image of the eclipsed Moon rising above the Colosseum in Rome and one of a potentially hazardous asteroid taken by the Virtual Telescope, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)