Because Peter Lowenstein lives in the Southern Hemisphere, he was fortunate enough to see the young waxing crescent moon and the planet Mercury in the western sky after sunset on August 16, 2015. In fact, the Southern Hemisphere will be enjoying Mercury’s finest evening apparition of the year in August and September 2015. At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury will actually set after nightfall for the next four weeks!
Peter Lowensteuin tells us, “This evening’s strong winds cleared most of the dry season smoke haze to reveal the New Moon and Mercury shining close together just before dark above Christmas Pass. In addition to the crescent Moon and Mercury the attached pictures show that the lights were on in town (no load-shedding for a change), headlights of traffic descending Christmas Pass and the red glow of a dying bush fire which had been burning in the hills all afternoon. Both are four second time exposures taken with a tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact camera in Night Scenery mode.
Dr. Peter Lowenstein has contributed many beautiful and fascinating images and stories to EarthSky. Trained as a geochemist, he spent his early years with the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea, specializing in metals and volcanoes. In 1989, he moved to the Zimbabwe Geological Survey as Chief Economic Geologist and has lived and worked in Zimbabwe ever since. Peter is now retired to Zimbabwe, in a house with a beautiful view in Murambi East, Mutare, where he pursues favorite hobbies including construction of electronic gadgets, listening to music, gardening, surfing the Internet ... and photography.