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Dawn Sky Panorama with Venus and Mars | by Amazing Sky Photography
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Dawn Sky Panorama with Venus and Mars

This is a 360° panorama of the dawn sky on September 21, 2020 from home in Alberta, with the Zodiacal Light in the east at left, with bright Venus embedded in the Zodiacal Light.


Mars, near opposition, is bright and orange at right of centre. The two planets nicely flank the Milky Way and the bright stars of Orion and the winter sky.


The summer Milky Way is setting at far right in the northwest. The Big Dipper is at far left to the northeast. The Beehive Cluster, M44, is above Venus; the Pleiades, M45, is at top; while the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is at upper right. Sirius is above the horizon to the south at left of centre. The stars of Leo are just rising amid the twilight below Venus.


This is a panorama of 12 segments, at 30° spacing, with the Sigma 14mm Art lens at f/2 (in landscape orientation) and Nikon D750 at ISO 1600, all 30 seconds untracked. Stitched with PTGui. Camera Raw handled it but give no control over the framing. The light pollution from Strathmore and Calgary light the horizon at right.


I shot this about 5:30 am just as the sky was brightening with twilight, enough to colour the sky but not wash out the Milky Way and Zodiacal Light, a narrow window of time as the sky changes colour and brightness surprisingly quickly, even at my latitude of 51° N. This was shot on a very clear morning after several days of smoky skies from fires in the western U.S.

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Uploaded on September 21, 2020