Moon, Planet and Star Trails Over the Forbidden City of China

December 22, 2016

Moon, Planets and stars trail above Forbidden City (2)

Photographer: Jeff Dai
Summary Authors: Jeff Dai; Jim Foster

Shown above is a 3-hour exposure of celestial trails over the Forbidden City, in Beijing, China, as observed on December 6, 2016. The first quarter Moon's trail is at center, the trail of the red planet, Mars, is just below the Moon, and Venus' brilliant trail is closer to the horizon. The first order magnitude star, Fomalhaut, trails through the Jiaolou Tower in the mid-ground at left. Note that only the brightest objects are reflected in the pool in the foreground. The amount of light reflected off still water is determined by the angle of incidence and the plane of polarization. For more about the Forbidden City and ancient Chinese astronomy click here.