The Moon in the Winter Circle

Hey, sky fans! Tonight has been kind of a cool night under the stars, if your skies are clear. The waxing gibbous moon has been making its way across the Winter Circle over the last couple of nights. Earlier tonight, it was very close to right in the middle, and it was gorgeous.

For the last couple of winters, I’ve been challenging myself to get the entire Winter Circle and the Pleiades, which is up and off to the side, in one photo on my little pocket-sized Canon Powershot from a couple of years ago, and I’ve almost got it. Years ago, when I had more time to concentrate on photography (I have the collection of old film cameras to prove I did), I used to really work to get the composition of my photos right. It was a challenge to position myself and the camera just right to get the photo I want. So, now the challenge is to get the whole Winter Circle in, and it’s something I’ve come to really enjoy. I know there’s a way to get it. I know there’s a time of year, or a time of day, or spot where I can put the tripod down. There’s an angle I can sit the camera. There’s a way.

Tonight, with the skies near my muddy corner of the northeast as gorgeous as they’ve been all winter, I went for it. Sorry about how bright it is. I didn’t want to worry about bringing out the detail in the moon, so I exposed for the stars, and just let the moon, which I’m pretty sure is that bright blur in the middle, do whatever it wanted.

I was so close this time! I got them all except for Sirius, which was just out of frame at the bottom, but it still all made for a pretty terrific shot. Plus, I got Meissa, and its little three-star backward-L asterism up at the top of Orion, almost lost in the glare. It really says something about how bright those stars are for them to still be as bright as they are against the moon.

Almost the whole Winter Circle
Almost the whole Winter Circle (click to open in a new window)

I’m not a real astrophotographer, it’s hard to be when this is the best camera I have for the job, but I really like shooting these wide skyscapes, especially when the skies are like tonight’s were.

Tomorrow, though, more clouds and falling ice. Ah well. Thanks for stopping by, and clear skies!

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5 thoughts on “The Moon in the Winter Circle

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you like it. I like how those things turn out when I try these shots. I’m fortunate enough to live somewhere where the skies get pretty dark — I can see the faintest wisp of the Milky Way during the summer, when it’s high overhead — so sometimes I’ve even gotten some nebulosity, not just in the Orion Nebula, but in the Pleiades, too. Hah… that red in the upper left is an overhanging branch from a pin oak.

      Liked by 1 person

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