Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I shot this photo of the planet Venus behind the Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine, Wisconsin in June of 2007. You'd think it would be an easy thing setting up a tripod on the beach to line up the tower and planet in a nice arrangement. Nope. I tried a half dozen different positions, taking several shots from each, tweaking the tripod's height and moving ever so slightly left and right trying to get something that worked for me. Then there was the timing of the lighthouse's rotating beam.
People have asked if the points on the planet were added later. Nope. That's just a characteristic of the lens I used. You can see some of the same effect on the tower light. The photo has appeared on a number of astronomy-related web sites and has been used as backgrounds for MySpace pages. I received an e-mail last week from the editor of the Racine Post, an online news site, for permission to run the photo. It seems that the editor in Racine saw the photo on the Earth Sky web site. Venus is about to make a disappearing act as the evening star until 2010, when it reappears as the morning star. The lighthouse adds the "local angle" that all editors seek.
The photo is the lead photo on the Racine Post site and blog today.
Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.