The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

A Cluster of Planets…and the Moon

Last month, we had a great close encounter of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon.  Jupiter is falling lower in the sky but is has been

Venus, the Moon and Jupiter.

joined by Mercury.  The Moon is back in the picture as well now.  You can see full details at the Sky and Telescope Website.

I went out after sunset tonight and snapped a couple of pictures.  You can see Venus high in the sky and the crescent Moon.  Jupiter is barely above the building.  I missed Mercury.  Truth be told, I didn’t realize it was there.  I believe I saw it but just didn’t try hard enough to get it since it didn’t strike me that it was Mercury.  I might give it another go tomorrow night now that I realize I can get a third planet…just have to tinker with those exposure settings a little!

Over the next couple of nights, the Moon will keep rising toward Venus and be closest to the bright planet on December 31st.  You have to get out fairly soon after sunset to catch Jupiter and Mercury.  Venus stays up a bit later.

I turned around and started to go inside when I noticed Orion rising above the Rincon mountains.  I couldn’t resist so I set up and snapped a few pics of that.  My favorite is this one.

I turned to go back inside and saw Orion rising over the Rincon mountains so I snapped a couple of pictures and got this.

orionrising0001You can see the sword and some prickly pear cactus in the foreground.

Go ahead and check out some of the scenic views the next few nights.

Venus, the Moon and Jupiter.

December 30, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Wow, I need to check this out tonight

    Comment by Mumbai | December 30, 2008 | Reply

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