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.

The Moon and planet Venus. 26 Apr. 2020

The Moon and planet Venus. 26 Apr. 2020

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 Moon and planet Venus, against a darker, starry sky. 26 Apr. 2020

The Moon and planet Venus, against a darker, starry sky. 26 Apr. 2020

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.

The Moon, Venus, Aldebaran and the Pleiades. 26 Apr. 2020

The Moon, Venus, Aldebaran and the Pleiades. 26 Apr. 2020

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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1 Response

  1. angela says:

    I did not realize this happened recently. It is beautiful to see- THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful pictures! Sounds like you are doing well over there, I am very glad to hear. Greetings from Sedona, AZ in USA

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