Planetary Gatherings

Fine photo opportunities occurs when the Planets gather in the sky:

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Dance of the Planets, October 2015

planets planets planets planets

DSLR Camera at ISO 800. Focal length between 35 mm and 50 mm.


Venus and Jupiter in the evening sky late June / early July 2015

venus and jupiter venus and jupiter

Both taken with a DSLR zoom lens set at 55 mm focal length, ISO 800.


Venus and Mercury very low in the dusk 9 January 2015

venus & mercury

Venus (mag -3.9) and Mercury (mag -0.8) only 43' apart. They were peering through the trees and power lines. Mercury is 5.9° high.

DSLR lens 200 mm focal length. 1/10 second exposure, ISO 400. Cropped. Taken at 22:12 UT.


Venus and Jupiter low in the morning sky 18 & 19 Aug 2014

venus and jupiter venus and jupiter

Both taken with a DSLR zoom lens set at 55 mm focal length, at 1/8 second. In the foreground is Topsfield town hall, MA, USA.


Ceres and Vesta approach and conjunction, 2014

ceres & vesta ceres & vesta

Left: Ceres (mag 7.3) approaches Vesta (mag 6.1), 2.6° apart and closing. Also in Virgo is Mars (mag -1.2). DSLR zoom lens at 55 mm focal length. 10 second exposure. 25thMarch 2014 at 07:56 UT.

Right: Conjunction of asteroids Ceres and Vesta, only 11.7' apart. 2014 July 7. CCD camera on 106 mm refractor. 2014 July 7th at 01.44 UT.


Venus, Jupiter and Mercury low in the evening sky 29 May 2013

venus, jupiter & mercury

Venus (mag -3.8) with Mercury (mag -0.6) 3° above. Below Venus Jupiter (mag -1.9), suffering high atmospheric extinction, is deep within the red twilight glow.

DSLR zoom lens at 100 mm focal length. 1/15 second exposures. Cropped. Taken on 29thMay 2013 at 21:32 UT.


Uranus and 44 Psc very close conjuction on 22-23 September 2012

uranus and 44 psc

Uranus is almost a perfect match for 5.8 mag type G5 star 44 Piscium. They were separated by 1.3'.

106 mm f/5.0 refractor and CCD. 3x1 second exposures. South up and the Field of View is 45'x30'. Taken on 23thSep 2012 at 01:16 UT.


Dawn parade of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon in July 2012

Venus & Jupiter; click image for higher resolution

Venus (mag -4.7) and Jupiter (mag -2.1) pass near the Hyades star cluster (at this stage with only the first magnitude star Aldebaran showing - the rest are lost in the dawn brightness). The waning crescent moon enhances the scene. 2012 July 15 at 08:39 UT.

DSLR Zoom Telephoto Lens at 100 mm focal length. Exposure 0.6 s at ISO 400.


Venus passes M45 in April 2012

Venus & M45; click image for higher resolution

Venus (mag -4.5) passes just south of the Pleiades open star cluster M45. 2012 April 3 at 00:55 UT.

106 mm refractor at f/5 at ISO 400. Exposure 15s with a DSLR. The field is 2.4° x 1.6°. North is up.


Venus and Jupiter (February-March 2012)

Jupiter, Venus & the Moon; click image for higher resolution Jupiter, Venus and Mercury; click image for higher resolution Jupiter and Venus; click image for higher resolution Jupiter and Venus; click image for higher resolution

1: Venus approaching Jupiter, with the Moon (with earthshine) looking on, making a lovely sight. The planets are now separated by 15° and closing. The Moon is just 4° from Jupiter. Jupiter was magnitude -2.2 and Venus was -4.2.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (55mm focal length) on the 26th February 2012 at 23.14 UT. 2 second exposure at ISO 800. Full frame. North Andover, MA.

2: The two bright planets (now 8.6° apart) are joined by Mercury.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (27mm focal length) on the 4th March 2012 at 23.18 UT. 1.5 second exposure at ISO 800. Nearly full frame. Freeport, ME (the carpark of an Outlet!).

3: The two bright planets (3.0° apart) are at closest separation.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (44 mm focal length) on the 13th March 2012 at 20.15 UT. 10 second exposure at ISO 800. Full frame. Partly cloudy, orange glow from sodium lights. Rush, Co Dublin.

4: Jupiter (at bottom) and Venus near the Hyades and the Pleiades.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (23 mm focal length) on the 21th March 2012 at 20.44 UT. 39 second exposure at ISO 1600, not driven. Slightly cropped. From Villierstown, Co Waterford.


Uranus and Venus conjuction in February 2012

uranus and venus

Uranus appears in the same telescopic field as Venus in Pisces. Uranus lies only 19' south-east of Venus. Venus (overexposed) is magnitude -4.1, while Uranus is magnitude 5.9. This translates to a 10,000 fold difference in brightness!.

Detail from 70 mm f/6.8 refractor and DSLR. 0.7 second exposure at ISO 3200. Undriven. Taken on 9thFebruary 2011 at 23:51 UT.


Neptune after one orbit July 2011

Neptune; click image for higher resolution

Neptune after one orbit since discovery in September 1846. The planet was at mag 7.8. The labels are to the right of the objects. The brightest object in the image is the 5.4 mag star 38 Aquarii.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (530 mm focal length) on the 31st July 2011 at 05.26 UT. 20 second exposure at ISO 400. Cropped. North up. Stellafane, Vermont, USA.


Jupiter and Mercury together in the dusk March 2011

Jupiter & Mercury; click image for higher resolution

Mercury passed 2° north of Jupiter, low in the evening sky. Jupiter was magnitude -2.1 and Mercury was -1.0. Imaged with a DSLR Camera (133mm focal length) on the 15th March 2011 at 19.33 UT. 1 and 1/2 second exposure at ISO 400. Slightly cropped. Co Dublin.


Uranus and Jupiter conjuction in January 2011

uranus and jupiter

Uranus appears in the same telescopic field as Jupiter. Uranus lies only about ½° north of Jupiter and its moons. Detail from 130 mm f/8 refractor and DSLR. 8 second exposure at ISO 400. Light pollution filter used. Taken on 3rd January 2011 at 18:31 UT.

The key to the visible Galilean Moons of Jupiter is: II = Europa; III = Ganymede; IV = Callisto. Hip 117614 is a 7.9 magnitude star.


Venus on 18 Nov 2010 via Skype

venus

Venus as viewed from Topsfield, Ma, USA on Skype (via Sara). The altitude of Venus was 15.5 degrees in mid-twilight. 05.52 EST. Spica was just to the top right. Although the webcam lens did not pick up Spica, it was visible to the naked-eye.


Venus and Mercury in March/April 2010

mercury venus mercury venus mercury venus moon

Venus and Mercury hang together in the western sky. Telephoto lens set at 133 mm focal length. 0.5 second exposure, ISO 200. Image cropped. From Co Dublin. 27th March 2010 at 19:39 UT. Venus was magnitude -3.9 and Mercury -1.2.

By April 7th they were much closer (3.3°). Telephoto lens set at 100 mm focal length. 1.5 second exposure, ISO 200. 20:15 UT. Image cropped. From Co Dublin. Venus was magnitude -3.9 and Mercury -0.1.

On April 16th the 'new' crescent Moon had joined the group. By then, Mercury had faded to magnitude 1.4. Image cropped. Telephoto lens set at 92 mm focal length. 2 second exposure, ISO 200. The atmosphere was hazy due to the dust from the Icelandic volcano near the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier.


Neptune and Jupiter in the same field in December 2009

neptune and jupiter

Neptune appears in the same telescopic field as Jupiter. Neptune lies only about ½° north of Jupiter and its moons. Detail from 130 mm f/8 refractor and DSLR. 3 second exposure at ISO 400. The orange glow is from a near-by sodium street light. Taken on 21st December 2009 at 17:55 UT.

The key to the four Galilean Moons of Jupiter is: I = Io; II = Europa; III = Ganymede; IV = Callisto.


Moon, Venus and Jupiter in December 2008

moon venus jupiter

The conjunction, Venus is near the moon. 60 mm f/5.9 refractor. 1.5 second exposure (not driven). From Loughshinny, Co Dublin. 1st December 2008 at 17:36 UT. Earlier that day, during the afternoon, the moon covered (or occulted) Venus.


Mercury and Venus together in the dawn December 2004

Venus & Mercury; click image for higher resolution

Mercury 1° above Venus, just above the trees. Venus was mag -3.9 and Mercury was -0.3. Imaged with a digital camera on the 30th December 2004 at 07.37 UT from Sandyford, Dublin. 1/2 second at ISO 100.


Planetary Triangle: Venus, Saturn & Mars in May 2002

Planetary Triangle; click image for higher resolution

Taken on 5th May 2002 showing a Venus, Saturn and Mars (in order of brightness) forming a triangle. The star El Nath (Beta Tauri) is at top. From Dundrum, Dublin.

Taken with a 50 mm camera lens camera (detail). 1/2nd second exposure on Ektachrome 400 slide film.


Mercury and Venus in the dawn October 2001

Venus & Mercury; click image for higher resolution

Taken on the morning of 2001 Oct 31. Fainter Mercury (mag. -0.7) is to the upper left of bright Venus (mag. -3.9), the two planets then were then only a little over a half a degree apart. From Dundrum, Dublin.

Shot with a 50 mm camera lens (detail). 1/2nd second exposure on Fujichrome 200 slide film.


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