Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

New Year’s Celestial Treat

A beautiful celestial display of Mercury and Venus with the thin waning crescent Moon brightened up the first two mornings of  2011.🙂

Heavy smog caused by the cold, foggy weather and  smoke generated by firecrackers and fireworks from the New Year’s Eve celebration blanketed our suburban place during the early morning of January 1st. Despite this, I was still lucky enough to have witnessed even just the nice pairing of Venus and the Moon in the Eastern sky, a few minutes before sunrise. Below are some of the images I took using my point-and-shoot Kodak C813 8.0 megapixel digital camera. Images were a bit blurry because I didn’t use a tripod.

A thin old Moon to the lower right of the planet Venus (1/1/11 at 5:47 AM) Mercury, the red star Antares and Saturn were difficult to see because of the smog. Click on the images to enlarge.

I also posted about this skygazing guide over my Twitter and Facebook account and I was happy that some of my fellow amateur astronomers and UP AstroSoc friends have also tried capturing  images of this sky event over their own places. With their permission, I have included their pictures into this post.🙂

Moon and Venus over Pasig City, Philippines – images by Elaine Tacubanza

Happy Hatsuhinode (初日の出) – the first sunrise of the year – by Kathleen Rosario (Parañaque City, Philippines)

Another friend, Bea Banzuela, did her skygazing during the predawn of January 2. Aside from taking landscape photographs of this event, she also used the 4.5″ Newtonian Telescope of UP AstroSoc to view the Moon and Venus over her place at Marikina City. Notice the lovely earthshine on the Moon in her pictures.🙂

From L to R : Mercury, Moon and Venus

Mercury, Moon and Venus with a few bright stars of Scorpius


A few minutes before sunrise

Thin Moon through the finderscope

Moon taken through the eyepiece of Datascope (afocal method)


This event was indeed a nice celestial treat to start the year off.😀

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