Low Clouds and Venus after Sunset
July 6, 2016
On July 6, 2016, I took another trip to Swede Run in Moorestown, NJ, to look for Venus and the Crescent Moon after sunset, although they were probably too far apart for a nice photo pairing. Besides, there were streaky clouds along the western horizon obscuring Venus and some scattered patches of clouds in the area near the moon, which was out of view 24° from Venus at the 10 o'clock position. The picture above was taken at 8:39 pm EDT, seven minutes after sunset, and is aimed towards Venus. However, it mostly shows colorful clouds and Venus isn't detectable, even after considerable enlargement (mouseover to see where Venus would have been). Canon 6D digital SLR camera on a fixed tripod and Canon 24-105 mm, f/4L zoom lens set to 105 mm focal length. Exposed 1/90 second at f/4, ISO 100, auto white balance.
This picture was taken at 8:44 pm EDT with a longer focal length and Venus is just barely visible (mouseover for label). Canon 6D digital SLR camera on a fixed tripod and Sigma 70 to 300 mm, f/4-5.6 apo zoom lens set to 300 mm focal length. Exposed 1/250 second at f/5.6, ISO 1000, auto white balance. The combination of exposure settings yields about +0.9 stops compared to the previous picture (both were set for automatic exposure). Venus was seen with 10x50 binoculars with varying degrees of difficulty as it passed behind bands of varying cloud density for a span of about twenty minutes beginning at 8:27 pm (sunset was 8:32 pm).
This is the same original image as the previous picture, but cropped to 32% of the width and 27% of the height in the area around Venus, which is now more readily visible as a result. Venus was at 3½° altitude (mouseover for label).
Here's the Crescent Moon at 8:50 pm EDT, after the nearby clouds had dissipated. It was about 62 hours old, 8% illuminated and 14° altitude at the time. Canon 6D digital SLR camera on a fixed tripod and a Sigma 70 to 300 mm, f/4-5.6 apo zoom lens set to 300 mm focal length (then cropped to about half the original size). Exposed 1/250 second at f/5.6, ISO 2500, daylight white balance.
Last Update: Friday, July 08, 2016 at 12:59 PM Eastern Time