Earthshine, Saturn and Antares

This morning I was rewarded with brilliantly clear skies just before sunrise. This was surprising as we’ve been having a few hazy days here in Chennai, India.

A crescent waning moon stood together in an almost straight line with Saturn and then with the massive red giant Antares- the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius (incidentally one of the constellations that most looks like the object it was named after).

As much as I realise that my camera is not exactly suited to astrophotography I could not resist the temptation to capture a photograph of these brilliant objects.

From Left to Right: Moon, Saturn on the Right of the Moon and Antares to the Right of the Saturn
The Same Photograph with Legends

I apologise that you can’t see the details very clearly.

The crescent Moon also offers an excellent opportunity for us to observe Earthshine with the naked eye. Earthshine is when you are able to see a glow in the part of the Moon which is actually in shadow. Now the Moon is actually in shadow because the Earth is blocking out the rays of the Sun from reaching the Moon but the Earth’s own light (the light it reflects from the Sun) still reaches the Moon and this is what you see as Earthshine.

Earthshine on Moon- Saturn on the Far Right

Hope you enjoyed the blog and that this will encourage you to go up and look at the skies.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re thinking.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    I love the photos! It is amazing how those tiny heavenly objects hold their own against our moon.
    And speaking of our moon, the earthshine (which I didn’t know about previously, so Thank you for that!) is just beautiful in the photo…..

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Yes Antares is actually way much bigger than the sun!

  2. That moon shot is beautiful!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you so much!

  3. Lukecats says:

    Hi. Good work! Astrophotography with digital camera is not easy, but you have got a good result! Some technical details? 🙂
    If your camera permits try to calibrate the white, make it on background sky.
    Keep going! 🙂

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      That is really useful advice- I won’t pretend I understand it completely but I will certainly work on it! Muchas Gracias 🙂

      1. Lukecats says:

        Use your instinct and feel your pictures 🙂

  4. 4SpaceVash says:

    Great post! and amazing photos.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you very much!

  5. neihtn2012 says:

    Thank you for these posts! I keep forgetting to go out and look, and take photos.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you for visiting- hope you do get to step out and see the stars!

  6. Nirmala says:

    Very instructive. Nice photos!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed them!

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