World at night

World at night

  • Heidelberg,  Landscape,  World at night

    Earthlight, Jupiter and Saturn

    The sun is setting in the west. The Moon moves east and setting in the west, too. If one compares the position of the Moon relative to the prominent planets Saturn and Jupiter, because they appear close to each other, it is no longer below the two, but to the east next to them.

    Yesterday, crescent moon right below Saturn and Jupiter © Julian Köpke
    Today, Moon east of Saturn and Jupiter © Julian Köpke

    Temporarily there was much less haze today, so that the earthlight (in german: aschfahles Mondlicht) of the moon in the right hand image is very well visible. Yesterday you could only guess. With the spotting scope the crescent moon shows up well detailed.

    Waxing crescent moon, 72h old © Julian Köpke

    The spotting scope allows to photograph the two planets Saturn and Jupiter with a full frame camera in a single field of view at lowest magnification (x30, which is about 800mm focal length). The structure of the planets ist better outlined with short exposure times (see insets), the Galilean moons of Jupiter need a longer one.

    Saturn and Jupiter, 4d before Great Conjunction © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Landscape,  World at night

    Great Conjunction

    Thanks to the hint of a friend, I was again aware of the rare constellation of the approach of the two planets that I had observed during the summer. The 21st by December, Jupiter and Saturn were to be only 6 arc minutes apart. Unfortunately, the weather forecasts are not favorable, which is why I hardly figured out a chance to see anything about it at all.

    Unexpectedly, the clouds disappeared during the day to retreat th the edge of the Rhine Rifle, where we were allowed to see them in the evening. At the beginning of our photo session we watched the Rhine Valley with our bright and long reaching optics.

    Power plant Mannheim © Julian Köpke
    Nightfall over Cathedral of Speyer, distant view with my spotting scope. Every now and then birds were flying through the scene. © Julian Köpke

    First Lorenz discovered the crescent moon in the clouds. It could have sunk our courage, in fact as darkness fell conditions steadily improved.

     

    Waxing crescent moon, 48h after New Moon. © Julian Köpke

    At the time, it was still too bright to see the planets.

    Waxing crescent moon, 48h old. We were watching out for the planets Jupiter and Saturn that are close by 6' these days (Great conjunction). © Julian Köpke

    Finally we managed to take pictures of the crescent moon with the the planets Jupiter (the brighter and bigger one of both) and Saturn close to each other before the increasingly yellow moon disappeared in the dark clouds. There was even a little of the ashen moonlight to be seen. Wonderful.

    Yesterday, crescent moon right below Saturn and Jupiter © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Monochrome,  World at night

    Porphyry

    In our vicinity there is a quarry that shone over to us in the afternoon with its warm colors. Loading the car with the heavy photo equipment, I drove there to try a few shots. The grounds were not as welcoming a I had imagined. Concrete paths and many closed gates that hindered a free study of light conditions. A remarkable amount of people on the road, often with dogs.

    The quarry named Referenz was used to mine for quartz porphyry, a red stone similar to granite, either used for road construction or e.g. statues. One rock formation was outstanding, with trees on it and a warm and yellow surface.

    Quarry Leferenz in Dossenheim (mined for quarz porphyry) © Julian Köpke

    On a mountain north of river Neckar through Heidelberg that was used spiritually by different subsequent cultures, there is a ruin of the monastery St. Stephan, with an arch that has probably bee reconstructed. It was already pretty dark when I got there. For the following shot it took me 2 minutes exposure time and 2 more minutes for noise reduction. You don’t see it.

    Arch of a door of Stephan's monastery Heidelberg. © Julian Köpke

    The Heidelberg Castle is always a great sight. It was almost too late to find a balance between the decreasing daylight and the electrical illumination. Nevertheless, with a single 90s shot at ISO 400and f/8, the basis for this image, which is a kind of negative, was achieved. The dark Heidelberg Castle dominates the scene.

    Heidelberg Castle and castle gardens © Julian Köpke

    There is also a version in Black ad White and a color version of this photo.

  • Long time exposure,  Texture,  Travel,  World at night

    Painterly strokes or magnetic fields ?

    A short trip for recreation in Bavaria led us to a completely sunny Bad Tölz at the Isar river. That way I also increased my knowledge of local geography. With a long time exposure, taken without a filter, only with a large aperture and low ISO, some assembled pebbles on the ground instead of a tripod, I wanted to capture the wave play of river Isar.

    It was only in our hotel on the computer that the resulting structure became more interesting and clear to me. For Christa the image shows picturesque brush strokes of an oil painting. I can think of the surface structure of the sun which is a fiery dance of magnetic field lines and mass distributions of hydrogen.

    Painterly strokes of Isar waves. © Julian Köpke

    In the evening a long sunset glowed for us in Königsdorf. The rotational planes of sun, moon and earth are quite close and in a few days we expect a partial lunar eclipse.

    Waxing crescent Moon and Venus at sunset in Königsdorf with view of the Alps © Julian Köpke

    The light takes 8 minutes from the sun to the earth. Due to atmosphere it remains visible to us longer than the sun itself.

    Sunset with view of the Alps © Julian Köpke
  • Monochrome,  World at night

    Dark Earth, blazing sky, vast universe

    Every time the moon wanes and an ever narrower crescent becomes visible, we enjoy the sight of an almost perfect circular disk with a narrowly illuminated edge. Due to the nearby elevations of the Kraichgau around the Königstuhl, the moon rises here in Rohrbach later as the announcements of the observation programs indicate. Yesterday, short after 6 o’clock in the morning I obtained the following image, drunk with sleep, no tripod, camera settings still correct for Japan, and an empty battery. Some of the treetops of the pine forest are faintly illuminated and can be seen directly under the moon.

    Near New Moon in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke

    The photographic repetition the next morning with an even narrower crescent moon spurred my ambition on. The visibility should start about 50 minutes later. After the end of daylight saving time at three o’clock in the morning it was almost the same time on the clock as the day before.

    If it hadn’t been for the clouds ! No moon visible at all. The clouds divided the world into three parts with visible stars and darkness of the night still over the city: dark earth, blazing sky, and the perceptible vastness of the universe.

    Dark Earth - blazing Sky - vast Universe © Julian Köpke
    Dark Earth - Blazing Sky - Vast Universe © Julian Köpke
    Dark Earth - Blazing Sky - Vast Universe © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  Travel,  World at night

    Japan, mon amour

    New love. New feelings. Less than one day in Japan. Tokyo means architecture like a mountain range. Food like a fair of flavors. Mild temperatures in the urban area. Some warm rain now and then.

    Tokyo Bay View © Julian Köpke

    Have I seen this before ?  Hasn’t it been bigger ? The statue of liberty in Tokyo. Obaida: a skywalk for people and photographers.

    Statue of liberty in Tokyo © Julian Köpke
    Spider Men in Obaida enjoying Tokyo © Julian Köpke

    A short night after a dinner in a typical restaurant. For the first time dining without shoes. Sitting low, feet underneath our tables. Lights, clouds and fog. Silence. Some sleep. Getting some rest.

    Tokyo at night © Julian Köpke

    Dawn is coming. Pleasant change through translation in space and time. We are not lost.

    Early morning in Tokyo © Julian Köpke
  • World at night

    Partial lunar eclipse

    Night clouds may be a creative opportunity, although they generally lead to limitations in the visibility of a celestial event. Last evening was such an opportunity. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    There is enough structure in the image to please one’s eye. The color of the Moon has a rusty tone outside the central shadow of the earth.

    A cloudy evening in Heidelberg with a silent partial lunar eclipse. © Julian Köpke

    The composite of this capture with a mood picture on site is technically not completely satisfactory. I should have made more different exposures of the night sky.

    Heidelberg partial lunar eclipse © Julian Köpke