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Showing posts from February, 2016

Moon, Venus, and Mercury - Feb 6, 2016

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I got up really early again this morning to catch the Moon, Venus, and Mercury dancing in the pre-dawn sky.  Here are a couple of my best shots.  The first one was taken from Larimer County Road 38E, where it curves into the foothills.  It was taken at 5:55 AM with a Canon 7DmkII and an EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II lens, at 100mm f/4.5.  It is a 1.6 second exposure at ISO 800:


For the curious, here is a map of the foreground showing what is visible in the 12.8 degree field-of-view of the lens:

I drove home, and snapped one more picture above the neighbors' rooftops.  Same camera/lens/exposure settings:


OK, *now* I can stop waking up early in the morning.

Five Planets and the Moon

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I got up this morning very early to make an animation of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, the Moon, Venus, and Mercury as they rose in the early morning sky.  Here is the finished product:

It was very cold - 7 degrees Fahrenheight - and very early.  This is a 30-minute sequence starting at 5:39 AM and finishing at 6:09 AM.  All of the images have the same parameters: Canon 7DmkII cameraCanon 8-15mm f/4L lens, locked at 10mm (widest useful zoom with this lens on a 1.6x crop camera)8 second exposures at ISO 3200Image sequencing performed by Canon's EOS Utility.  A capture was started every 15 seconds.
That camera/lens combo yields a 180-degree diagonal field-of-view.  Jupiter and Mercury are about 120 degrees apart in these images, so this gives some extra room for animation and cropping.
Capturing all five planets in the pre-dawn skyglow is surprisingly tricky, especially when city light pollution is contributing to a murky lower atmosphere.  I was located at the north end of the parking lot