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Sunday, August 28, 2016


Venus and Jupiter at Closest Approach (Sunday August 28, 2016)

Venus and Jupiter in  conjunction with Mercury nearby, Sunday August 28, 2016. Inset shows 3 x Zoomed Venus and Jupiter, with Mercury visible at top left and beta Virginis just visible near Jupiter. Image taken with a Canon IXUS, 6 second exposure, 400 ASA at 6:50 pm ACST. Click to embiggen.Venus (bottom) and Jupiter and its Moonsin   a 25mm eyepiece with my 114 mm Newtonian reflector. You can see Callisto (furthest) Europa near Jupiter) and Ganymede and Io merged almost on top of Jupiter. Significant tree interference. Click to embiggen.

After a clear day and beautiful warm weather, the clouds invaded the evening sky again. This tie there were enough breaks in the cloud to get my telescope out and do some imaging just before the trees got in the way. Sadly I couldn't adjust the exposure down, and the refraction spikes you see are from the tree branches, but the Galillean satellites came out nicely.

Igot some good non telescope exposures, despite thin cloud hanging around. The twilight colours were muted by the cloud, but the pair of Venus and Jupiter, with Mercury nearby, was absolutely brilliant. I pointed them out to some joggers who had to vere around my kit, they were suitably impressed as well.

We won't see Jupiter and Venus this close and accessible for decades. So I am somewhat pleased to have seen them (and helped others see them). The planet dance isn't over, and on September 3 Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are joined by the thin crescent Moon.

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