Mercury, Moon and Jupiter Shine Over Leaning Tower of Pisa (Photo)

Mercury, the Moon and Jupiter with the Leaning Tower
Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca took this image on May 30, 2014 from Pisa, Italy. (Image credit: Giuseppe Petricca)

This stunning image of Mercury, the moon and Jupiter also showcases a historical landmark of the Italian city from which it was taken: the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca took this image on May 30 from Pisa, Italy. Petricca said he waited for the wide encounter between the three celestial objects. Mercury appears at the right of the image, while Jupiter shines from high above.

"The slender crescent moon was the first to appear, like a small thin cut in the sky, then the gas giant and finally the dim and little Mercury," Petricca wrote in an email to [Amazing Night Sky Photos for June (Stargazing Gallery)]

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The crescent moon was just 5-percent illuminated and two days past new phase when it passed Mercury and Jupiter as it waxed across the sky on May 30. Mercury arrived at its greatest eastern elongation, or its greatest angular distance to the east of the sun in the sky, on May 25 and has since started approaching the sun beginning to fade noticeably. 

Petricca captured this photo using a Nikon P90 camera on tripod, ISO 100, f3.5, with 1.6" exposure.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.