Member Jim Burchell was up early on Sunday the 9th October 2022 and took a super collection of photos of the early morning sky using his Pentax camera from Dartford. Jim captured Mercury at greatest elongation that morning; along with Mars, the Moon plus the constellation Orion.
Looking East – Mercury at greatest elongation
Looking South – the constellation Orion and Mars. Mars is above Orion (top, centre)
Looking South West – the Moon
The Moon as it set
Members Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and Richard Bohner were up very early on the 29th May 2022 to do a bit of planet spotting.
Jim captured the Mars & Jupiter conjunction from Dartford at 3.30am and a little bit later Saturn with Mars & Jupiter.
Mars & Jupiter
Mars, Jupiter & Saturn
Meanwhile Diane Clarke captured Jupiter & Mars and then Venus from Belvedere at 4am.
Jupiter & Mars
Venus above a cloud bank
Then 8 hours later in Arizona member Richard Bohner captured Mars & Jupiter (with Moons) too in the early morning sky. Richard said ‘It was very windy this morning and was having camera shake in some of my photos. These are 3 second images at ISO 2500.’
Mars & Jupiter from Arizona.
Whilst CMHASD member views of Venus & Jupiter from the UK were blocked by cloud, two superb images of Venus & Jupiter were captured in the early morning skies of the 28th & 30th April 2022 by member Richard Bohner in Arizona, USA.
The first image taken on the 28th at 04:30 MST was acquired using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and an 8 second exposure time. Jupiter is on the left and Venus on the right and only 2.3 degrees apart.
The second image, taken on the 30th at 05:00 MST (using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and a 6 second exposure time) shows Venus & Jupiter appearing even closer together, in fact very close. The planets were separated by the same angular distance as a full moon: about 1/2 degree!!! Three moons of Jupiter; Ganymede, Io and Callisto can also be seen in the 2nd image.
The Venus-Jupiter conjunction happens about once a year but this year the two planets appeared closer than they usually do. The last time the two planets were closer than this year’s conjunction was in August 2016 but it was more difficult to see since they were closer to the sun. The next time they will get this close is in 2039.
Jupiter & Venus 28th April 2022
Jupiter & Venus 30th April 2022
Although Venus and Jupiter appear next to each other in the sky they are nowhere near each other in space. The actual orbit of the planets is around 430 million miles apart (690 million km) nearly five times the Earth–sun distance!
You can also understand why the ancients called planets wanderers too.
Image of the crescent Moon, and Venus with a Sunset and sun pillar – well spotted and recorded by Jim.
Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years (the last one in 2000.) however this particular conjunction will be especially close – the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226! Don’t worry, if you miss it there is another close conjunction in 2080!
At its closest on 21st December Jupiter and Saturn will be 6 arc minutes apart (1/5 the diameter of the full moon) which is still easily discernable as two separate planets (some reports would have you believe the merge together into an ‘elongated star’)
The weather was poor on the 21st, but there was a gap in the clouds on the 20th, the images from the 20th the planets were at about 9 arc minutes vs 6 arc minutes at closest encounter.
Images by Steve Goldson
Images by Martin Crow
Images by Simon Dawes
There have been a few conjunctions recently these were all taken by Jim Burchell
Image by Dianne
The recent conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Mercury in the evening sky has been delighting our members, below are some contributions from those who imaged it.
All images are copyright. Permission must be sought to from the image owner to the use of any of these images.