Chasing the Moon

Unfortunately, as is often the case, things didn’t go as planned. Nevertheless, I decided to set up my equipment at Scott’s View, which offered a clear vantage point along the Tweed valley, facing west. My goal was to capture close-up shots of the Crescent moon and Venus in close proximity, with the possibility of including the scenic towns of Melrose and Galashiels in the foreground. Arriving at 21:30, I was delighted to observe the moon and Venus already aligned through a small opening in the cloud cover.

However, the sky was largely obscured with strips of higher clouds and faster-moving lower clouds, resulting in intermittent glimpses of either the moon or Venus, but rarely both together. Despite this challenge, I managed to take a few shots at different focal lengths before the clouds eventually obscured the view entirely. Unfortunately, the cloud cover had become complete before it was dark enough to capture Mars as well.

Venus, often referred to as our sister planet, possesses some fascinating yet inhospitable characteristics. It experiences extremely high temperatures, possibly due to a runaway greenhouse effect, with surface temperatures exceeding 450 degrees Celsius (over 840 degrees Fahrenheit). Its atmosphere consists primarily of carbon dioxide (96%), and it even rains sulphuric acid, making it far from an inviting destination for a holiday. In terms of its motion, Venus takes approximately 224 Earth days to complete an orbit around the Sun. However, due to its slow rotation on its own axis, which takes around 245 Earth days, a Venusian day is longer than its year.

Despite the challenges posed by the weather and the elusive nature of capturing the desired celestial alignment, it was a captivating experience to witness the moon and Venus in the midst of their celestial dance. Exploring the unique characteristics of neighbouring planets, such as Venus, provides a deeper appreciation for the diversity and wonders of our solar system.

Ford Renton LRPS