The Moon meets Venus at its brightest: a cosmic wonder – 26 Apr. 2020
Yesterday’s evening, at sunset, the western sky offered a stunning show: a sharp Moon crescent met planet Venus, right now shining at its brightest. The legendary Aldebaran and the Pleiades joined the parade and looking at them was such a joy, particularly in these hard days.
Because of the lock-down and the rules at work here in Italy to limit the Covid-19 epidemic, I managed to set up my imaging gear on the roof of the building where I live in Rome, in complete safety. I went there soon after sunset, the sky was amazing. I had with me one of my Canon 5DmIV DSLR bodies, coupled with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, perfect for the job I wanted to do, thanks to its high luminosity. Of course, I used a sturdy tripod to keep all the instruments in place during the imaging session.
Once at twilight, every second makes the difference: the light all around changes continuously and the subjects reveal an evolving beauty as well. The image above was captured while all around there was plenty of light: a few stars, scattered all around, were already visible. Once the sky was darker, I managed to shot the scene again, getting the much more dramatic, cosmic panorama below.
The unique, elegant “Earthshine” was visible in all its glory… and you should remember I really love it!
Luckily, the Moon and Venus were not alone. Earlier this month, the planet had a rare, beautiful meeting with the Pleiades star cluster, which was still in the same part of the sky, so I managed to use a larger field of view and included those legendary stars, with Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), too.
I hope these photographs will bring to you part of the joy and feelings I lived while taking them.
Keep looking up!
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