Jupiter Rising

Jupiter Rising. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

A few weeks ago (well, about a month already) R and I headed down to Miġra l-Ferħa for an evening picnic and some quiet time stargazing. It was going to be a moonless night, so we wanted to repeat what we had planned with some friends of ours a month before. This time, though, we were on our own, and as luck would have it, things stayed that way. There was a bit of a breeze, and the weather was already turning, taking the edge off summer. So I guess most local folk thought it was already too cold to be out.

There was also some cloud cover, but there were enough breaks in this to make stargazing worthwhile. I set up my camera for some wide shots of the Milky Way, and once I was happy with the settings, set up the intervalometer and let it rip. I was not looking forward to the mammoth task of processing so much data, but I tried not to think about it too much. In the end, this resulted in a very short timelapse sequence that I am quite happy with. But more about that another day.

It was a lovely excursion, and since this was the first time we did this in a very long time, perhaps it was best not to push it. So when we decided we had enough, I stopped the intervalometer, and set up some other compositions I wanted to try. One of these involved the planet Jupiter, as it broke out from behind some cloud cover, above a local hill. I had to take several exposures to avoid getting the planet obscured by cloud in what is effectively a long exposure. The clouds are lit from below by artificial light; on the other side of the hill is a young offenders facility, which is shall we say rather well lit.

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