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Streak: Until 2040 by octane2 Streak: Until 2040 by octane2
Save your retinas: click here for a version on a black background, therefore preserving shadow detail.

On the 13th of August, 2010, the world witnessed a rather unique massing of planets in a very interesting formation. The Moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Mercury conspired to create a very special display of nature's grace.

What we have here is an almost triad-like formation with Venus in the middle, the crescent Moon as the bright streaking comet to the left, Mars to the top of Venus and Saturn underneath. Not to forget Mercury, all the way down the bottom by its lonesome self.

I debated whether to post this image or not, as I typically do not try to involve anything other than the natural environment in my landscapes. My initial plan was to drive 2 hours out to a location that I had scouted a couple of months beforehand which had a magnificent view to the west, uninhibited by man-made structures and/or light pollution. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it there and so had to settle for this less than ideal location. Having said that, I still managed to capture some natural landscape in the form of moss-covered stones and rocks in the foreground. So, my conscience is somewhat clear in the knowledge that I did have every intention of going to a location which would be free of Man.

On this night, I managed to lose my footing as a strong gust of wind blew me over while I was squatting down monitoring an earlier exposure. I went for a 20-metre tumble down the hill luckily avoiding any serious injury to myself, and, relieved that I didn't collect my tripod or camera bag on the way down with me.

The centre left portion of the image is the Canberra CBD region of Civic with its disgusting light pollution. The tower in the distance is Telstra Tower situated on Black Mountain. As the crow flies, Telstra Tower is approximately 5 kilometres distant from my perspective. An optical effect (defect) has been created in this long exposure which has rendered the Moon to resemble a comet streaking down from the heavens. I guess I was very lucky to have some very high thin cloud streaking by at the time that allowed me to capture this scene in a unique way.

A formation with the planets this close together will not occur again until 2040.

Shot towards the end of astronomical twilight, on Mount Ainslie, Canberra.

Click here for an annotated version.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
30s f/8.0 at 17.0mm iso3200
Add a Comment:
Well you really fooled me thats for sure, this looks right out of a star wars manipulation at first sight, I couldn't tell what that bright light was a comet or close up star, the colors and details in the foreground are great deep and rich the light coming in hitting the grass is very strong makes the shot look very alienated sifi style.
This got to be one of thous really once in a life time shots with the planets and sky this bright and yes depends on your location that can really add up to making a outstanding shot, like this one sure is. The lights from the city is very bright and I can tell from the capture those 30s are really a sweet spot for getting all the glory right in.
This is well done I couldn't ask for more than this, in the far the sky matches up with the city below it gave the results a really strong impact this deserves more stars but well done.
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

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XMyCrimsonTearsX Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Wow, this is simply breathtaking, I wish I could have seen this with my own eyes.
marcoamartin Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing photograph! Plus the adventure of tumbling down the hill adds to the value and passion of the backstage preparations for the exposure! :phew:
kj0708 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
PoetKanna Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2011
shooting star!
AzankinoKING Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
superb capture, a real stunner :floating:
CNunes Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
So beautiful!
xXTheDeviantXx Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
Wow impressive shot!
bada Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
Very impressive shot! :clap:
usernames-are-a-drag Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
That. Is amazing.
TheForestMan Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010
impressive. Makes me think I should consult my almanach more often. lost track of all these interesting events. Thanks for sharing this amazing shot.
DiabloDan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer an absolutely amazing shot...
Im speechless!
Alatier Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
It looks brilliant. The balance of the pitcure with its angle and lighting is simply breath taking. "Wish I had been there" photo and a definite favourite!
Thank you for sharing.
Scorpidilion Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Professional Photographer
great shot :thumbsup: ;)
boltfan100 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
ok i am dlete ing this
caffeine2 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
Wow! Amazing!:wow:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
Awesome shot, even if it does have dirty human stuff in it.:w00t:
Skull-Bunneh Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I gotta say this is well worth the risk it took! The photo is amazing!!
(and yeah, that is a hell of a lotta light down in that city D: )
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Submitted on
October 22, 2010
Image Size
619 KB


240 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
30/1 second
Focal Length
17 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 13, 2010, 6:51:06 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Sensor Size