Crescents in February 2012

Version 23.2.2012 Martin Elsaesser,

Young crescent on 22. February

The young crescent was observed from the Public Observatory Munich. The weather was quite good, with less haze than at the day before.

We started to observe two hours before sunset and quickly found the crescent with the imaging system, at about 9° elongation.

crescent of 22. february
Young crescent around sunset.

We could not see the crescent visually before sunset, but soon thereafter found it in a telescope at 40x magnification. Later we also saw it easily with 10x50 binoculars and then also (with difficulty) with the naked eye. Mercury was 7° to the left, Venus and Jupiter were also bright and a nice pass of the ISS completed the evening.

Young crescent and mercury
Mercury and the young crescent low on the horizon, as seen from the Public Observatory Munich.

Old crescent on 21. February

The old crescent was observed in the morning of 21. february, from the well known location at the Sudelfeld. The weather there was ok, though some haze remained near the horizon. The seeing was quite bad, so the thin crescent was quite blurred and thus difficult to detect.

I tested a inexpensive imaging system consisting of a small camera and inexpensive lens. Alas, the CMOS camera caused serious problems with the image quality. Nevertheless the system showed the crescent right after it rose above the mountains and till sunrise, at 9° elongation, some 17 hours before conjunction.

I had also brought a small telescope and tried to see the crescent visually but did NOT succeed, probably due to the haze and bad seeing and also some problems with the instruments.

crescent of 21. february
Crescent around 06:54 local time.

Later in the day we observed the crescent in daytime with the imaging system at elongations of about 7.5 degrees. The weather quite hazy, so this was more difficult than expected.

Young crescent near Venus on 25. February

venus and crescent
Young crescent near Venus, as seen on the evening of 25. february, about 3.5° distance.

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