The Moon and Saturn - LAST ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE MONTH!! - March 2014



About the image…

Image title – Conjunction of Moon and Saturn
Taken at – Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife - España; 16º 30' 35" W, 28º 18' 00" N).
Camera  Canon 7D on tripod, with a  300mm lens with a 2x extender
Exposure – single 1/50 exposure at 800ISO.
Image taken and reduced by – Daniel López.
Text   Daniel López and Pablo Rodríguez-Gil.

About the Object…

2014 March 21, 01:40, a rare celestial phenomenon is taking place in the skies above Teide Observatory: Saturn and the Moon are getting really close to each other. But it's only a line-of-sight effect. The apparent separation between the two was small enough to accommodate them in the same field of view of a telephoto lens. The rings of Saturn and the craters on the moon are undoubtedly two of the most impressive astronomical views. Simultaneous observation is almost paradise for astronomy enthusiasts.

This phenomenon was visible to the naked eye, with Saturn looking as a bright star next to the moon. The rings of Saturn and the largest moon craters start to reveal when looking through binoculars. But it's through a telescope that both object's glory and majesty is revealed. Digital photography, however, goes one step further. Colour processing and enhancing reveals orange, blue or violet areas on the moon, a signature of the presence of different building materials. In fact, colours on the moon are dominantly controlled by variations in iron (redder; FeO) and titanium (bluer; TiO) content.