Archive for February, 2011

Crescent Moon and Jupiter at dusk over Trondra, Shetland

8 February, 2011

I’ve been trying for a nice conjuction at dusk for some time, the last one being a couple of years ago. Shetland is a small island group and our weather is very changeable – it’s often either completely cloudy or cloudy for that brief time between sunset and darkness. It’s been a bit frustrating and I’ve missed a few good conjunctions and other events, including the recent partial solar eclipse (that time at sunrise).

Yesterday was a case in point; I got splendid views of the Moon and Jupiter side by side  –  but only after the sky had gone completely black. Tonight I thought the same was going to happen, there was thick cloud and a heavy rain shower developed as dusk descended so it went quite dark. But I was determined to see this one because Jupiter is now heading away from view over the next month or two and it was due to be directly beneath a rather nice crescent moon. So I drove a few miles out of town, firstly south and then west as I spotted a lighter area of sky then a break in the clouds where I found some clearer skies over Burra and Trondra. The drive was worth it because I got splendid views in the end and was able to frame the conjunction with some accompanying artificial lights too – car lights across Trondra bridge, a few houses and navigation lights reflecting nicely on the sea. I was pleased with the shots I got but it was quite windy so, even though I have a good solid tripod there was some movement evident in some of the closeup shots so I had to discard them. Here’s a representative selection of photos.