Fireworks and the Moon Dazzle in Spectacular Photo

Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca captured this dazzling photo of the quarter moon and fireworks over Pisa, Italy on June 16, 2013.
Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca captured this dazzling photo of the quarter moon and fireworks over Pisa, Italy on June 16, 2013. Petricca snapped the photos during a fireworks display launched from the Arno River during Pisa's Patron Saint's Day celebrations. (Image credit: Giuseppe Petricca)

Fourth of July fireworks celebrations will light up the sky across the United States tonight, but one veteran astrophographer in Italy has already captured a dazzling view of an explosive night lights display that also co-stars the moon.

Night sky photographer Giuseppe Petricca of Pisa, Tuscany in Italy captured the dazzling view of a fireworks display and the quarter moon on June 16 during Patron's Saint Day celebrations in the city.

"Yesterday in Pisa was the Patron Saint's Day, and I managed to catch fireworks, launched from the middle of the river Arno, exploding near the first quarter moon!" Petricca told in an email. "Really a nice composition!"

Petricca said he used a Nikon P90 Bridge digital camera on a tripod to snap the photo, and then used image processing software to clear away noise in the image and enhance details of the moon's surface.

The patron saint of Pisa is Saint Ranieri. The city honored Ranieri with annual fireworks or bonfire displays since the 15th century, according to the tourism website Pisa Online. The Luminara, a tradition that decorates parts of Pisa with candlelight to honor Ranieri, dates back to the 19th century.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.