Fishing for the Moon and Jupiter

July 14, 2009

20090714 - Fishing for the Moon and Jupiter

Photographer: Rick Stankiewicz, President, Peterborough Astronomical Association
Summary Author: Rick Stankiewicz

In mid June of 2008, I was on a fishing trip to Lac Seul, in the northwest corner of Ontario, Canada, where I not only hooked my share of fish (Walleye and Northern Pike) but also caught a clear view of Jupiter and the full Moon. Jupiter was rising in the southeastern sky (in the constellation of Sagittarius) in proximity to the Moon and was sufficiently bright, at about magnitude –2.6, to reflect off the calm surface of the lake. In general, only objects of first magnitude or greater are brilliant enough to be seen as a reflection on a water body. A thin layer of haze near the horizon makes the over exposed lunar disk look larger and brighter than was actually the case. Still, the full Buck Moon was easily bright enough to fish by. Photo taken on June 18, 2008.

Lac Seul is reportedly the second largest inland body of water contained wholly within the province of Ontario. It’s a maze of bays and inlets that seem to go on forever. The net area (water surface) of Lac Seul is about 530 square miles (1,373 sq km). I’m glad I took my tripod and camera with me on this trip and not just my fishing rods. I was one happy angling astronomer that night!

Photo details: Canon 400D camera; set at ISO 200-400; f/2.8-3.5; 6-8 seconds exposure; Sigma 17 to 70 mm lens set at 17-28 mm.