Planet

It’s not always easy …
Sometimes the most beautiful evenings in winter are also the coldest ones. And the instrumentation has to withstand conditions that are not exactly “ideal”.
But also this time, everything went well and I managed to bring home a very interesting session …

When the session was over, another challenge has started. Deicing the car 🙂

The moon shines bright. In such a night as this. When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees and they did make no noise, in such a night. (W. Shakespeare)

The moon, how many times have I pointed my nose to the sky, and you were there? I took really thousands of pictures of it but any time it was like the first time.

In a very calm and perfect seeing night I had the opportunity to get closer to the moon with my gears. Results are impressive.

Moon total eclipse happens when the Earth is between the moon and the Sun and the shadow of the Earth obscure the moon. This happens gradually and it is possible to take sequence of this phenomena.

Totally eclipsed

Mars is the fourth planet in our solar system. It is small for my gears and I did some attempts to take a photo of the planet. I hope in better opportunity to take again Mars.

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System, after Jupiter. As well as for Jupiter, I am not well equipped for this kind of photography. A greater focal length would be better but even if not the best with my gears I did some attempts.

Saturn and some moons

In this photo Saturn is surrounded by some (of the 83 known) moons

Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is the largest planet in our solar system. After the Moon and Venus, it’s usually the next brightest object in the night sky. This gas giant, made mostly of hydrogen and helium, is easily recognized by its alternating dark belts and light zones as well as the Great Red Spot, a storm larger than the Earth.

In order to take great photos of this planet it is necessary to have a proper instrument. At the moment I have not an instrument to take this kind of subjects but even if I have a smaller gear, I did some attempts to take Jupiter. This are results 🙂

Jupiter and the great red spot. The dark spot is the shadow of the moon “Io” transiting over Jupiter, projecting its shadow on the planet’s surface
Jupiter and its Galilean Moons, Io, Europa, Ganimede and Callisto. Jupiter is much brighter than its moons so a double exposure is needed, one for the planet and one for the moons.
Another attempt of Jupiter and its moons. Even here a double exposure technique has been used.

The ashen moon. When partially illuminated by the sun it is difficult to see the rest of the shaded part. In fact, only the “segment” of the part illuminated by the sun can be seen. However, the shadowed part, which is the shadow created by the earth on the moon, is not completely dark.
With the double exposure technique, it is possible to capture both parts with the right brightness. The result is very impressive.

The surface of the moon is not completely white with black spots, dark seas and craters. In fact, the albedo of the moon is only 0.12 or only 12% of the sunlight that illuminates the moon is reflected (78% of the light is absorbed).
The earth, on the other hand, is much brighter, the albedo of the earth in fact is (estimated) 0.3-0.39. This means that the earth reflects 30% of the sunlight it receives.

With overexposure and improved color rendering it is possible to reveal the colors of the lunar surface.