Planets on Parade and the Gibbous Moon Too

March 26, 2018

Planet Parade 2018 Unnamed

Photographer; Ryan Imperio 
Summary Author: Ryan Imperio 

Featured above are Saturn, Mars and Jupiter (from left to right) along with the waning gibbous Moon as observed at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, North Carolina, in the early morning hours of March 8, 2018. I had read about the early March parade of planets, so I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. on the 8th to check for clear skies. I instantly saw the Moon and then the three planets gathered my gear and headed to a location nearby having minimal light pollution. Though it was quite chilly, the night sky was superbly clear. The bright star Antares, brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius, is just below the Moon. Note the glow from the Sun, still below the horizon, behind the Carolina pines.

Photo Details: This photo consists of four shots, two of the night sky (snapped at 5 a.m.) and two in the foreground. It was a bit tricky to get an exposure that showed the planets and several stars without completely blowing out the Moon. I chose to shoot the foreground last. During this time, I had to start battling the increasing light of daybreak. Nikon D90 camera, 12.3 Megapixel; Sky: ISO 400; f/7.1; 15 second exposure; 18-105 at 18mm; Foreground: ISO 400; f/7.1; 55 second exposure; 18-105 at 18mm; Post-processed with Photoshop CS3.