Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Planetary conjunctions!

Today I returned from LA to the comfy confines of Tucson and my observatory.  As the sun was setting and I was noting the beautiful colors in the Belt of Venus I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in an area with such open horizons and frequently clear atmosphere.   The evening was so nice I decided to take a picture of the planetary conjunction in the west  from my home so as to capture many of the colors in the sky that I could simply not capture from the middle of LA.  The image below was taken at 8:13 MST (0313 UT) with my canon T2i and a 24-105mm zoom lens at 88mm.  The image was .8/sec, ISO 200 at f/4.5.  Click on the images to enlarge them and if your browser automatically re-sizes images you may need to click them a second time.  The images are identical with the exception of the labels on the right hand image.

As it happens, I discovered on my cameras memory card another conjunction image that I had taken earlier in the month, on May 13th at 0332 UT when the Moon was very close to Jupiter.  Jupiter is the bright dot near the lower right of the image (click to enlarge):

This was a 1 second exposure at f/4 with a Canon 15-85mm EF-S lens set at 85mm, at an ISO of 400.  I am quite happy with the exposure on the moon, particularly in that one can appreciate not only the Earthshine, but also some of the detail on the lunar terminator.  For instance you can see how some of the crater floors are not yet illuminated by the rising Sun, resulting in a scalloped look to the bright terminator.  Below is a full resolution crop of the moon from the above always, click to enlarge.

Good night moon!

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