The Moon, Mercury, Mars & Orion by Jim Burchell

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


Early Morning Planets

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. 

Jupiter & Venus Conjunction 2022 by Richard Bohner

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.

The Great Conjunction of 2020

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


Image by Steve Goldson 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 6400. taken at 18.02. 20/12/2020. (Inset image: 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 3200 taken at 18.07. 20/12/2020. – Note Steve captured 3 of Jupiter’s moons)

Images by Martin Crow

S-J Conjunction MartinCrow

2020Dec20 17:06ut Equipment: 80mm equinox @ f15 and DMK41 mono video camera and an old laptop. Location: Top of Dartford Road, Hextable. Taken the day before closest approach due to likelihood of poor weather on 21st. Best views though were had through the eyepiece. Absolutely stunning.

Images by Simon Dawes


Image by Simon Dawes Skywatcher MN190 (modified), EQ6 Pro (modified) ZWO ASI 1600 MM Pro Bexleyheath England

Three Recent Conjunctions

There have been a few conjunctions recently these were all taken by Jim Burchell


Image by Jim Burchell Moon/Mercury & Venus taken 25/05/2020


Image by Jim Burchell Moon/Jupiter/Mars & Venus was taken 10/11/15


Image by Jim Burchell Moon/Saturn & Jupiter taken 19/10/2020

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon.

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.


Image by Jim Burchell The Moon and Mercury showing Earthshine. Taken Dartford top road. Pentax K70.


Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon.


Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon. Taken from the park.


Image by Stephen Goldson ‘First time I’ve seen Mercury clearly’

All images are copyright. Permission must be sought to from the image owner to the use of any of these images.