Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Lunar Corona

January 31, 2011

Photographer: Geir T. Øye
Summary Author: Geir T. Øye; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a splendid conjunction between the waxing crescent Moon and brilliant Jupiter (at center) was taken from Orsta, Norway on the night of January 10, 2011. On this evening, these two celestial bodies were only seven degrees apart. An attention-getting lunar corona helps makes the scene even more inviting. Coronas are diffraction phenomenon, resulting from the interplay of moonlight with droplets in mid-level clouds; ice crystals are rarely involved. Note the bands of lower, darker-appearing clouds drifting across the disk of the Moon, which was approximately 34 percent illuminated.

Photo details: Canon 450D camera; Sigma 17-70 mm lens -- at 70 mm; tripod; RC-5 remote controller; 100 ISO; 6 seconds exposure. Picture snapped at 4:55 p.m.