Thursday, August 25, 2016

End of August 2016 : a sky full of planetary conjunctions

Wednesday 24 of August 2016 finally the sky cleared up.
I used the opportunity to take a few pics of two planetary conjunctions.
The gear used consisted of an improved DIY tripod and the Nikon Coolpix S3300 compact camera.


The very good all-metal head of a Velbon photo tripod was combined with the legs of  a 60mm refractor tripod. 


The first observed planetary conjunction was actually a progress toward a planetary conjunction of Venus and Jupiter,happening on the Western sky.
This was hard to follow and take pics because Venus and Jupiter were lost in the bright crepuscular glow of the setting Sun.
To locate the two planets I used my trusty  Fujinon 7x50mm WPC-XL binocular.Actually my binocular just was of that type. Since quite a while it was modified and the compass was removed as being redundant for somebody sailing only his own front yard.

Fujinon 7x50mm ex WPC-XL binocular.Once the compass removed ,  the field is identical  in both oculars.Very good!

Venus-Jupiter ''in progress'' conjunction ,on 24 August 2016.
Venus is to the right of the distant tree , Jupiter is to the left  and above the same tree.

Venus and Jupiter 24 August 2016 

Venus and Jupiter ,in a picture with a ghetto flavour.The pictures were taken over the fence of  the open-air store of a local company , hence the barbed wire .

At South-South West ,at the same time , it was visible the conjunction of Saturn , Mars and Antares , ''the heart of Scorpion''.

                                                                                 
Conjunction of Saturn , Mars and Antares on 24 August 2016

Conjunction of Saturn , Mars and Antares of August 24 , a closer look.

Labeled picture of S-M-A conjunction


Another picture of the S-M-A conjunction , please notice the redish  hue of Mars and Antares 

Saturn is keeping his silver-gray color.

To the left of Antares we see Alniyat T Sco , a 2.8 mv star.


Update Friday 26 of August 2016:

Today I used the modified photo tripod for taking the pics of the planets Venus and Jupiter which are getting closer and closer.
The altitude of the two planets is about the same on the Western sky with Jupiter a litle higher.
However they are low and  like on 24 of August , the two planets were seen in the strong glow of the setting Sun.
I noticed first Venus in the Fujinon 7x50mm binocular and latter also Jupiter.
The distance between this two sky wanderers was one sixth of the visual field of the binocular so about 1 degree and 10 minutes.

Jupiter was very hard to record due to the bright sky background.
Visualy I saw only Venus with the naked eyes until the end of the session of about  only half an hour long.
To highlight Jupiter in the first pics I had to do a lot of processing on the PC.

                                                                      

At start only Venus was visible.


                                                                            

Venus at the center -right and Jupiter at center-left , next to the ''r''font  of his name label.

                                                                     

Another picture with ''ghetto'' flavor  of Venus and Jupiter heading toward  the conjunction
of 27 of August.The apparent distance here it is of   about 1 deg 10 minutes.


Toward the end of the observation , both planets were much easier recorded by the tiny lens of the Coolpix S 3300 camera.
Unfortunately this last pictures have again the ghetto flavour because the setting planets were visible only through the fence of the neighbor company.


                                                                          

The last picture taken Friday 24 of August : Venus and Jupiter in improved visibility.
But allas , they are setting !

                                                                             

Update 3 Septembrie 2016:

Unfortunately I was not able to do observations of the tight Venus-Jupiter conjunction which happened on 27 of August 2016.
However , I done this one night before ,on 26 of August and here are the results.
I used the same gear , Fujinon Mariner 7x50mm binocular and photo tripod mounted Nikon Coolpix S 3300 compact digital camera.
And of course my naked eyes. 
Initially ,only Venus was visible.




                                                                         
I had to do my observations from a nearby street ,in front of a neighbor company ,over or through their fence.
Hence the ghetto flavor of the pics.
                                                                            




First , Jupiter was seen only through the binocular, even so was not an easy target.








The observation last for about half an hour.
Toward the end , in the last ten minutes , both planets were visible also with naked eyes  Jupiter remaining a hard target.