Young Crescent Moon with Venus

November 6th, 2021, 6:06 p.m. local time

I had been itching to get my photography equipment back outside.  The weather has not been favorable recently on those nights I could have devoted to sky observing.  I actually went on a scouting mission the night prior, Friday November 5th, to find the 1% illuminated Moon.  But that mission was unsuccessful, as the Moon was far too low and stubbornly blocked by my neighborhood at the horizon’s edge.

This Saturday evening was very pleasant for early November.  And more importantly, the sky was completely clear.  Though Jupiter was situated in the Southeast, my attention was towards the Southwest, first to find the now 3% illuminated Moon.  It was still very low, and I just barely found a window by way of time after sunset and a peek through the trees.  This picture, I hope, captures the difficulty of even this brief snapshot, indicating how an attempt the prior evening was impossible.

Moon as seen on November 6th, 2021.

This is a rare view of the Moon.  Looking through my archives, the only time I photographed a similar Waxing phase illumination was after the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

Taken with my Canon EOS and 300mm lens, it was interesting to play around with the focus, as I was able to choose between focusing the background Moon or the foreground tree branches.  Obviously, my intention was to accentuate the former.

Further above the horizon was bright Venus.  This photograph, with my best wide-field lens, demonstrates as well the challenge of capturing the Moon this night.  For reference, see the screenshot from Stellarium above which shows the exact positions of Venus and the Moon at this time.  And it should be noted, this was less than 30 minutes after Sunset, so the sky was still fairly bright, which is why no stars are visible.  Venus is so bright, it can be visible even in daylight.

Venus as seen on November 6th, 2021.

Hopefully you can appreciate how the Moon is hidden in the photograph, compared with the Stellarium screenshot.

Tomorrow, the Moon and Venus will be even closer.  I hate to make promises as the weather can break them, but weather permitting I will be back outside again on Sunday night to view and photograph the pair at their closest approach this month.

Moon closeup settings:

  • Canon EOS Rebel SL3
  • f/5.6
  • 1/30 sec exposure
  • ISO 400
  • Canon 300mm lens
  • Minor post-processing in PaintShop Pro

Venus wide-view settings:

  • Canon EOS Rebel SL3
  • f/5.6
  • 1/8 sec exposure
  • ISO 400
  • Sigma wide field lens, 40mm focal length
  • No post-processing in PaintShop Pro (this photo is pretty good as-is)

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