The Waxing Crescent

Crescent Moon

While aligning a star tracker for some long exposure star photos, I couldn't resist capturing an image of the moon. It's a waxing crescent, meaning it's getting larger each day until it reaches a full moon in a week or so. The larger the moon, the brighter the sky, and the more difficult it is to capture good night sky images, especially deep space objects such as nebula. 

 I'm working out all of the alignments and adjustments on the tracker now, so when the new moon arrives in a few weeks, I will be all set for some deep space photos. So far, using a 100mm lens, I've been successful in capturing clear star images up to three minutes in length. These longer exposures really help capture the dim light on the stars and nebula with very low noise or grain, so I can't wait for clear, dark summer nights. 

 For the moon image, I used an 35mm film equivalent of a 1800mm lens and managed this capture hand-held - the moon is actually very bright in the night sky.