Astrophoto: Beautiful Encounter with the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is photographed with two Iridium Flares, airplanes and stars among the dark sky background. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

There is so much going on in this picture – taken by astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca — it’s hard to know where to start. Of course, there’s the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy. But one evening earlier this week, a “beautiful encounter” happened, said Petricca via email.

“A wonderful -7.5 magnitude Iridium Flare, clearly visible even in the light polluted sky of the city center, photographed from the famous Miracle Square, with the Leaning Tower as a special guest,” he said. “But I was lucky, because two airplanes crossed the portion I was photographing, and a second Iridium satellite was really near the bright one, but this second one did not create a flare.”

Also visible in the background is the dim but beautiful Ursa Minor, culminating with the North Star, Polaris, high corner in the top left corner.


The picture is an 8 second exoposure, f4.0, ISO 100 taken with a Nikon Coolpix P90 Bridge on a tripod.

“I was planning to do this shot for two or three days, and luckily the clouds gave way to clear sky just in time,” said Petricca.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.