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Space Image: Very Young Moon Above Atlantic Cloud Top

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Posted July 27, 2015

Some nightfalls evolve into something spectacular. This one began like any other normal project nightflight imaging excursion. We were on La Palma island and drove up to a viewpoint in the mountains in search of the light of the very young Moon. It was the evening of June 17, 2015. After a brilliant sunset, we set up our imaging gear and settled down to wait for the right moment to come. About twenty minutes later, we caught the first glimpse of the very young lunar crescent, barely over a day old.

Credit: Project Nightflight

Credit: Project Nightflight

And then, by and by, everything fell into place. Fuzzy cirrus clouds lit up with the iridescent orange sunset colors. The thick, gray cloud layer below us was dimly illuminated by the fading daylight. The young moon slowly developed into a bright silvery crescent. It only lasted a few minutes and we were lucky to photograph the scene in its full splendour. We had to use a special HDR technique to capture the complete dynamic range of this event.

When we finally drove down the mountain, we discussed how much the scene had reminded us of George Lucas’ Bespin Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. One of us even claimed to have seen the Millennium Falcon out of the corner of his eye.

Source: Project Nightflight

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