Venus, Jupiter and a crescent Moon

Something woke me at about 4:30 this morning, perhaps a sudden temperature inversion at the end of an otherwise sultry summer’s night, perhaps the urge to reward renal function with a visit to the bathroom.

The moon is the low crescent, Venus is the planet above and to the right, with Jupiter highest bright object in the frame.

Either way, when I returned to our bedroom I took a peek through the gap in the curtains and was greeted by a rather stunning pre-dawn view of the waning crescent moon aligned almost perfectly with the bright jewels of Venus, playing the role of the morning star right now (often it’s the evening star; also currently in crescent phase and large in the sky) and Jupiter the gas giant (surface details and its four largest moons should be visible with a small telescope). Despite the early hour, I had to grab my dSLR camera (Canon 20D, Sigma DC lens, 18-200mm 1:3.5-6.3) and attempt in my half-asleep state to capture the spectacle; 0.6s, f3.5, ISO 3200)

My photo doesn’t do the scene justice, it was a truly stunning sight, even if I was bleary eyed in the early morning…meanwhile, I added labels to the moon, stars and planets on the photo for Sciencebase’s astro fans.