Moonset in the Belt of Venus

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Sometimes, just a few minutes before sunrise or a few minutes after sunset, you can actually see the shadow of the earth projected on the atmosphere! Look for a dark band just above the horizon, and just above that, a pink band from scattered sunlight coming horizontally through the atmosphere. Higher still, the blue sky is in full sunlight. The pink band is known as The Belt of Venus because the planet Venus also spends a lot of time in this region of the sky, never far above the horizon. The belt is also called the antitwilight arch because it appears directly opposite the twilight horizon that conceals the sun. On this particular morning, the setting full moon occupied the belt.

Date: February 6, 2004
Time: 7:14 a.m. MST
Location: Suburban Phoenix, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR on fixed tripod
Film: Fuji Provia 100F slide
Focal length: 100mm
Aperture: f/8-11
Exposure time: 1/8 second
Scanner: Nikon Coolscan LS-2000

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Revised: June 2, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Joe Orman
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