Moon & Jupiter


Moon & Jupiter │ NEX-7 & Canon NFD 200mm F4 │ 200mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/160, RAW

Considering I live in the centre of Tokyo, I'm still surprised by the clarity with which I can see the stars, and how the moon illuminates the clouds from the pitch-black. I'm from a rural area in the UK, so starry nights are not a stranger to me. What is strange, however, is that Tokyo with its neons, skyscrapers and apartments, can have skies with such clarity. Sometimes I feel as though I could reach the moon. On this particular night, Jupiter joined the party (top left).

It's linked, of course, to science. It's extremely cold and dry here at the moment. Moisture in the air makes dust, soot, and other airborne particles grow as they take on water. Their new size then scatters (and absorbs) light in many ways, creating fogs, haze, and generally unfavourable clear-sky conditions. Japan is cold and dry ( < 10% humidity sometimes) in the winter, and so the particles don't grow. Electric public transport is so common here in Tokyo, that cars are relatively few and far between. Tokyo is about as polluted as some rural parts of the UK, in a particulate sense. Tokyo makes up for it with light pollution though... on a damp morning or evening, you've no hope of seeing anything other than the reflection of the city above your head.

Can you see Orion?