4
$\begingroup$

photo

In this amatuer photograph, the following are to be noted:

  1. There is a faint ring of light around the moon. What is the distance we see this at. From the ground it looks like a hundred meters.
  2. There is a star near the moon. Is this Venus?

Please answer these questions with what you know. Thank you.

$\endgroup$
4
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ We need to know when the photo was taken to identify the star: date, time, time zone (or region of the world). If taken within the last 24 hours, the star is the planet Jupiter. $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Nov 24, 2023 at 18:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regarding #1, are you talking about moonglows or halo ring? $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2023 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ Jupiter and the Moon are both close to equatorial orbit. I think the image has been rotated left 90 deg, and the grey object at the top is in fact looking up at tall buildings to the right of the image. The bright cross effect over the moon is a local reflection -- photo possibly taken through a window. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2023 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ Photo taken on Nov 24th 2023 at night time in KL, IN. Taken from ground level using Night Mode on an Oppo handheld smartphone. Halo ring is in question. Paul is correct in noting cross effect and possibly halo are due to local reflection in the camera lens. However, there was no window and an actual halo was visible that night, notably clouds visible circularly around the moon, and it probably spanned a greater diameter than in picture. Direction cannot be confirmed. News reports suggest Jupiter also. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Dec 2, 2023 at 23:29

4 Answers 4

14
$\begingroup$

If the photo is from today (24 November 2023), then the "star" is Jupiter, a planet.

It's hard to see any ring around the moon in the photo, but rings are typically due to high clouds, and may be more prominent and wider if there is ice in the cloud. The distance will be from a few km to a few 10s of km.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ I'd add that time is also significant in this. My guess is that that was late evening with the Moon high in the sky, hence it couldn't have been Venus which can never appear more than about 46 degrees from the Sun. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2023 at 7:59
10
$\begingroup$

tl;dr astrophotographers shouldn't carry their cameras in their pockets :-)


I took photos of the Moon and Jupiter with my cell phone last night as well.

I keep my phone in my pocket and the lens front surface gets dirty (dusty and greasy) and this produces both halos (or fuzzy blobls) and streaks. The streaks come from directional rubbing (in my pocket or intentional half-hearted attempts to clean using my shirt tail) which pushes the dirt and grease into oriented distributions.

These are in all our cellphone photos, but it's usually the astronomical ones, or ones with bright point sources like lights where they become visible.

Of course as @Dr.Chuck points out that while the fuzzy blob comes from small angle forward scattering from tiny particles, they can be water droplets in the atmosphere, as well as on your camera lens. Cleaning the lens will differentiate between the two.

The differences between the first and second image are

  1. better attempt at cleaning the lens (cotton shirt tail, hoping the sapphire lens cover doesn't scratch)
  2. substantial reduction in exposure time (brightness) from the original one chosen my the camera. Foreground objects look darker (bad) but the Moon is less overexposed (good).

Also note the 2nd image of the moon nearby - this is lens flare and I onced used it effectively to photograp a partial solar eclipse. It appears diametrically opposed from the original source (reflected about the center of the image). I just use a simple photo editor and take a tiny patch of nearby black sky and paste it over the flare image.

Photos taken of the Moon and Jupiter 2023-11-23 23:11 (UTC+08)

the Moon and Jupiter 2023-11-23 23:11 (UTC+08)

the Moon and Jupiter 2023-11-23 23:11 (UTC+08)

$\endgroup$
8
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ tl;dr Never trust a photo from a cell phone since they are provably unreliable reddit.com/r/Android/comments/11nzrb0/… $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2023 at 8:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MarkMorganLloyd now that's a compelling story. Though it's not really relevant to the images on this page, I'll bite! Is it generally accepted that "Samsung 'space zoom' moon shots are fake" and that some cellphones (e.g. S20 Ultra) use AI to add features? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 9:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ actually, there is a slight relevance: in OP's photo there's something like a roof overhang recognisable, and in yours there's your home planetarium (or is it a signalling semaphore?) Hence we can be reasonably confident that those are genuine, while the photos shown by the Reddit thread lack that sort of fiducial context. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2023 at 12:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MarkMorganLloyd I see what you mean. Oh in my photo it's just a wind sculpture I happened to be walking under (the arms and torso are all balanced and when the wind blows it moves around randomly) and thought it was nice composition to match the two celestial bodies with the two... ice cream cones? (Google maps from 2017 maps.app.goo.gl/GoYRHmmKWeZJkfSg7) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 13:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JeremyBoden I fail to see the point you're making. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2023 at 10:30
6
$\begingroup$

Answering only the 2nd question, "There is a star near the moon. Is this Venus?", as others have noted, it's not Venus, it's Jupiter.

But it's interesting to note that, assuming the moon in the photo is mostly-full, then there's no possible way it can be Venus, ever. This is because Venus, having a smaller orbit than Earth's, can never be very high in the night sky, either shortly before dawn, or for a short period after dusk. But a mostly-full moon must be more or less opposite the sun.

So if Venus is visible shortly around sunset during a full moon, you have to look at the opposite side of the sky to see the full moon.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

The ring you are referring to is called the Moon Ring. Although not clearly visible in your picture. Attached below is one I clicked on the night of 24th November 2023 from my phone. The ring appears due to refraction from suspended ice crystals in the atmosphere. You can read more about the phenomenon on Moon Ring. The planet seen as a tiny speck as others mentioned is Jupiter. I would recommend getting either Google Sky Maps (on Android)/Night Sky(on IOS) app that allows you to quickly get an idea of any objects you see in the night sky simply by pointing your phone toward it.

Moon Ring 24/11/23

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ It could be moonglows. I have asked OP in the comments to clarify this. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2023 at 1:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .