Astrophoto: The Belt of Venus

Did you know you can sometimes see Earth’s shadow right here on Earth? This beautiful panorama by John Chumack is a perfect example of this phenomenon, known as the “Belt of Venus.” This beautiful pinkish glow is caused by the backscattering of sunlight and is sometimes referred to as the anti-twilight arch. What you are seeing is the shadow of the Earth’s translucent atmosphere, casting a shadow back upon itself.

“So yes, you can see part of the Earth’s shadow other than during a lunar eclipse,” said John, via email. “I shot this from Indian Lake, Ohio a favorite fishing spot! It is a panorama made from 5 separate shots to show the entire belt of Venus, and the Earth’s shadow (dark area) arching above the horizon.”

John used a simple point and shoot Canon SX 160 IS, hand held for all 5 shots with 30% overlap for the panorama, so no tripod, which is pretty impressive!

“I was fishing and Venus’s Belt was the only thing I caught that evening!” said John.

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