Before sunrise on this morning, the thick crescent moon and the bright star Spica did a very close dance. As seen from central Arizona, they appeared extremely close together. From states farther to the east, the moon actually appeared to cover the star -- an occultation.
Especially noticeable in this photo is the blue color of Spica, which indicates a hot, young star.
Date: December 25, 2005
Time: 6:35 a.m. MST
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR on fixed tripod
Film: Fuji Provia 100F slide
Focal length: 600 mm (200mm lens with 3X tele-extender
Aperture: f/11 (effective f/32)
Exposure time: approximately 1/2 second
Scanner: Nikon Coolscan LS-2000 (cropped slightly)