The Moon & Venus in the Beehive Cluster

I'm in northern Arizona for a week with lots of opportunity for astrophotography. Most days I'm north of the river of smoke from California burning and the skies are spectacular then. I've been planning on getting a shot of the Moon and Venus visiting the Beehive cluster for a while and scouted nine different locations. I picked the Wupatki National Monument Doney Mountain View Area. It is spectacularly dark and quiet, with paved access, and just the right view of the moonrise and the Painted Desert.

A four exposure HDR composite taken early morning 2020-09-14 from the Doney mountain view area. William Optics RedCat 250/51mm telescope with Sony a7iii camera, exposures from 1/25 sec at ISO 100 to 30 sec at ISO 1600. Processed in Nebulosity with HDR stacking in Photoshop.

My setup is shown below

While taking some iPhone images I was spectacularly photobombed by Elon Musk's SpaceX StarLink satellites:

I arrived back at our cabin just before dawn and the Moon and Venus were still looking good in the sky.

Content created: 2020-09-14

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