Monday, March 12, 2012

Jupiter and Venus meet in the night sky

Two of the brightest stars in the prairie sky right now are planets — Jupiter and Venus in conjunction in the west, clearly visible at dusk and for a few hours after.

Jupiter and Venus in conjunction, in Aires © SB 
I set up the tripod in the backyard about an hour after sunset. The picture above, taken when it was still light enough to catch the branches of a lilac bush and the deep blue evening sky, shows the constellation Aries at right, with the two planets on the left.

Venus is the brightest shining "star", while in this image, Jupiter (at left) has a slight pink fringe — a weird digital artifact. Not an artifact, but also (beautifully!) weird, are the dots above and below Jupiter, at about the 11 and 5 o'clock positions. Moons!  (Click to view larger.) 

Jupiter has moons!  © SB   

What is this? The early night sky, with Jupiter (left) and Venus (right) in conjunction in Aries.   
Location: My backyard, Regina, Saskatchewan. (facing west)  
Tech stuff:  ISO 400, 0.8 sec; Nikon D7000, Nikkor 40mm 2.8 lens; one hour after sunset.   
Photo dates: March 12, 2012. 


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