Up all night

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Night.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

On December 21st of last year, I went down to the coast to get a clear view of the ‘Christmas Star.’ This event was the closest coming together of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in almost 800 years. This isn’t to say that the planets themselves would be closer, but from our planet, they would appear so, so close that they would seem to be a single large ‘Christmas Star.’

I got down to the coast before sunset and stayed until it got dark enough that I knew I wouldn’t get more decent photos. I knew my best shot would be with some foreground still visible. The top photo is the best I could do with my camera. The two planets can clearly be seen close together, but with a sliver of late evening sky between them.

I headed home, downloaded the photos, and went to bed not long afterwards. Why the early night? Well, the next day I planned to drive over to see the new eruption at Kilauea Volcano, in the pre-dawn darkness, which required a 1 a.m. start. (That story can be found here.)

It was as I was wrapping up taking photos of the eruption that I turned to see the eastern horizon lightening. But there were still some stars visible in the sky and the brightest light of all was the planet Venus. That’s when I took the second photo before heading back to the car to start the three hour trip back home.

15 thoughts on “Up all night

    1. Graham Post author

      Astronomical events are always a bit hit and miss, but we’re lucky to have clear skies on many nights. I’ve got up for several meteor showers, but the truth is I’ve seen more meteors from the comfort of my bed through the bedroom window!

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  1. Terri Webster Schrandt

    You are the first photographer I know that successfully got that image, Graham. It turned out well and I’m sure it was worth waiting for the right time and also losing sleep to capture Kilauea. This is what photographers do. Love it! I could never see it, too many trees. From your island POV, it appears so much higher in the sky. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Graham Post author

      It was kind of a fun 24 hours. The two planets view looks higher than it is. The horizon actually runs though the foliage at the bottom of the photo. It’s just too dark to see it well.

      Liked by 1 person

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