Russell Croman Astrophotography  



Jupiter, the Moon, and the Beehive Cluster

About This Photograph

On 4 September 2002, the planet Jupiter and Earth's waning Moon straddled the Beehive Cluster, a group of sibling stars 577 light years from Earth. Many of the cluster's more than 200 members are visible here. The last days of the old moon leave only a thin sliver of it illuminated by the sun, but the remainder of its disk can be seen by "earthshine," sunlight reflected off of our planet back onto the moon (and then back again to our eyes). Jupiter, to the lower right, is seen shining brightly with its four major moons arrayed nicely around the giant planet. The moons, in order from bottom to top, are Callisto, Europa, Io and Ganymede, and are called the "Galilean satellites" after their discover, Galileo Galilei.

You can also view the sunrise that followed this scene here.


Technical Details

Optics:Canon 200mm f/2.8L.
Camera:Canon D60.
Dates/Times:4 September 2002.
Location:on a hill in Austin, Texas.
Exposure Details:10 seconds.
Processing:Photoshop (levels, curves, etc.).


Publication Data for this Photograph

Date Publication Type
2005-03-00 Night Sky,
pp. 32-33
2004-12-00 National Geographic,
2002-10-00 American Lunar Society,
Photo of the Month
Web Site
2002-09-25 NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day Web Site