The Moon, Venus And Comet Catalina Shine In Beautiful Space Photograph
An almost holy trinity of celestial objects came together for this spectacular space shot.
Photographer Greg Hogan took the captivating snap of the moon, Venus and Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) before dawn on Dec. 7.
The image was featured as NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day” on Saturday.
Hogan told The Huffington Post he spent weeks planning how best to get the image.
“I knew all three of those objects would be very close to each other that morning in the sky on December 7th and had a gut feeling if I planned it right it and the weather was clear that it would be a great shot,” Hogan said via email.
At 4 a.m., he went to a farmer’s field just a few miles from his home in Kathleen, Georgia, to set up his equipment. Using a Canon 7D camera and a 85mm prime lens set at f.28, Hogan took several separate exposures for the moon, comet and stars before overlaying them to create the stunning picture.
The moon appears at the top of the shot, Venus in the middle, and Comet Catalina — with light emanating from both sides — at the bottom.
“That morning was actually an incredible morning for me, lots of bright meteors and beautiful clear skies,” Hogan said.
“Very memorable. When I looked over the images and seen what I had captured I knew I had something very unique and special. It is a top favorite shot of mine,” he added.
The picture was taken just as the Geminid meteor shower, which peaked Sunday night through Monday morning, was starting.
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