April 20, 2020
It's Just a Phase
Originally published November 7, 2010
image by Stefano De Rosa
A lunar crescent makes the twilight sky magical. Especially near sunrise from a mountain pass of the Alps at 1,000 meters above sea level and 50 kilometers from Turin. Stefano captured the lovely pair of Venus and the Moon in twilight colors above a fog bank that draped the valley below like vaporous sea waves - here is the entire scene (as well as the following sunrise). The old Moon, tired from nearly a month's service of illuminating the Earth, is only a sliver of its former self. In contrast, Venus looks plump with only a small bite revealing its phase. But the camera lies; Venus has just passed inferior conjunction and seen thru a telescope it is slender, with a phase nearly matching the Moon's. I suppose the 1/25th second exposure, needed for the faint Moon, bloomed out the brightness of the planet. Even distortion can be beautiful.
Nov. 5, 2010, 6;45 local time. Canon EOS 1000d , Exp: 1/25 sec; F/5.6; ISO 100; focal length 250mm.