Sunday, June 28, 2015

Western Sky Show

Just a reminder in case you haven't heard - the bright planets Venus and Jupiter will be passing each other in the evening sky the next few nights.  A week ago at the Canyon, they made a nice appearance with the crescent moon.  The monsoon rains have moved into southern Arizona and I've not seen clear sky in the evening since then.  Fortunately, a break afforded a 10 minute window at the start of twilight tonight before the clouds moved in to hide the scene again.  Compare this picture of Venus and Jupiter, taken with an 85mm lens (1/2 second exposure) to the link above, with about the same focal length.  About 1.1 degrees apart (about twice the moon's diameter), in 2 nights (Tuesday) they will be .3 degrees apart - a truly amazing sight!  In a small telescope the phase of Venus, about half illuminated should be visible.  And even in binoculars, you might spot some "stars" next to Jupiter that will likely be some of it's Galilean moons.  If the weather cooperates, I'll try imaging it again, but was pretty hopeless for tonight other than this shot in bright twilight.  Fingers crossed it will be clear where you are!

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