Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earthshine at Earth hour

Yesterday night at 8.30 I switched my lights off and went to look out of the window from my great vantage point up on the seventh floor, overlooking some lovely scenery. Having had a pretty overcast day I wasn't expecting much, but the clouds had cleared and the moon was looking particularly stunning, with a lovely Earthshine lighting up the otherwise dark majority of its face.

Earthshine at Earth hour
Just down to the bottom right is Iota Arietis, a magnitude 5.09 binary star. On a dark night from my apartment I can pick up magnitude +11 objects, but in the twilight +5 seems to be the limit. Note that this is all without a telescope. Simply an amateur DSLR camera, a zoom lens (70-300mm), a tripod and a cable release. I continue to be amazed at what you can see with simple equipment.

The picture is untouched from the original apart from an unsharp mask, a crop and the brightening of the star in the bottom right.

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