Venus and the swimming Moon

Venus and the swimming Moon

Venus and the swimming Moon

A year ago, 21 January 2015, I witnessed very unusual view to the darkening horizon before the first stars appeared above the La Silla observatory. Just a minutes after the sun set over the horizon of distant south Pacific, the crystal purity of the Atacama’s air allowed me to spot the very young Moon. This crescent was followed by bright planet Venus and slowly moved to the horizon too. When it touched the dusty belt of far polluted atmosphere, a rare theater had begun. Moon was literally distorted due to different optical conditions in the thin layer above the horizon and it made a feel like it was swimming there. So yes, the weird „snaky“ shape on the horizon is the Moon… Used Canon 6D Baader IR modified, Tamron 70-300mm@209mm, f6.7, ISO 4000, 1/15 s.

Swimming Moon in sequence

Swimming Moon in sequence

For the mosaic (second image) was used same equipment, sequence is captured with the lenses set to full 300 mm, exposition for main image is 1/4 second with 4000 ISO, for the rest is it 1/30 second with 5000 ISO.