Conjunction of the Crescent Moon and Crescent Venus

April 25, 2014

Conjunction of the Crescent Moon and Crescent Venus

Photographer: Mohamed Laaifat
Summary Authors: Mohamed Laaifat; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the attention-getting conjunction of the crescent Moon and crescent Venus (the Morning Star) as observed over the rooftops of Caen, France, about 45 minutes before sunup on February 26, 2014. Brilliant Venus blazed at a -4.8 magnitude in February, though only 38 percent of it's surface was visible to observers on Earth. Venus appears brightest in its crescent phase since it's physically closer to us than when it's fully illuminated -- it's then on the other side of the Sun. The darkened portion of the Moon, not illuminated by sunlight, is referred to as earthshine. Note the linear cirrus cloud underscoring the Moon, providing an interesting contrast with the rounded and curved celestial disks and the angled roofs.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D60; Lens: SIGMA 70-300 mm; Focal Length: 122.0mm (35mm equivalent: 183mm); Aperture: f/4.2; Exposure Time: 3.000 s; ISO equiv: 800; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows.

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