Posts tagged 'Venus'

Connect Four (or Five)

Posted by on February 25th 2012 in Astrostuff

You'll all have noticed the line of lights in the south-western sky at about 18:30 GMT yesterday evening, no?

It's not the greatest of pics but it's the best I could do in a rush:

This is what you get: upper-left = Jupiter, middle = Venus, lower-right = our Moon

The 4th in the line is Jupiter's moon Ganymede (a tiny dot really close to Jupiter, you'll need to look at the full-size pic to find it).

Other folk have also seen Mercury (even lower than and further right of our Moon) from their locations, but from here it was down in the light-polluted clag.

There'll be similar such alignments in the south-western sky for several nights - have a look, take some pics, see what you can catch - here's what's on offer just after sundown on Monday:

Just don't go being stupid and looking directly at the Sun - it's another one of those things that'll make you go blind 😯

Observing Report 8th-9th January 2011 (Venus & Saturn)

Posted by on January 15th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
Tags: ,

Nearly caught up!

It wasn't the clearest of nights, but it was the first half-decent chance for over a month so I took it.

The first half of the session was spent setting up the scope and mount and then getting good polar-alignment. It's always a good idea to do proper checks after either maintenance or extremes of weather - it's surprising how much the ground heaves when it's gone through long freeze/thaw cycles, and it does affect the position of the mount's pier. Setting-up also included re-registering the reference stars so that the thing can work out where it's pointing (and can then work out where to find other stuff)... a time-consuming job if done to a fair degree of accuracy.

The second half was given over to visual observation and planetary imaging. While waiting for Saturn to rise to an acceptable declination, I got the camera set up and had a few practice-sessions focusing on double-stars and then I sat back watching for meteors. When Saturn was in sight I found that I'd picked a night when the huge "Dragon Storm" was visible, so I grabbed some footage of it for processing later. After that I went over to visual for an hour or so while waiting for the next target, Venus, to gain some height in the pre-dawn sky. Eventually the bright crescent of Venus climbed far enough to be nabbed by the CCD. After that I should have packed away but I couldn't resist the temptation to wait and see if I'd be able to image Mercury too. I could see it through the binoculars, peeking through the branches of a tree, but as I waited for it to clear the obstruction the sky became too bright to catch the planet on camera. Better luck next time, maybe?

Anyway, here are the results:


Saturn with storm


Observing Report 11th April 2010 (Venus and Mercury)

Posted by on April 12th 2010 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports
Tags: ,

The two innermost planets have been prominent in the post-sunset western skies for a few weeks, during which time I've had a few good looks at them with binoculars but dodgy weather had prevented me from getting any pics. This evening I took the opportunity to get out with the camera and tripod to bag a few shots. I've not gone through the whole batch yet, but this one's looking favourite:

(Mouseover for the annotated version, click for the biggie)

Venus, Mercury and a few stars. Nikon D50 with 35mm prime, 5s @ F/1.8, ISO 200, taken at 21:13 on 11/04/2010

If the others are any better I'll let you know.

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