Wednesday 14 March 2012

Interesting stuff going on in the night sky

There have been some interesting things going on in our night sky this month, due to peak this Thursday (I am informed). 

Jupiter (left) and Venus line themselves up every thirteen months, but this particular occurrence has got astronomers extra excited because the planets are so clearly visible. 

It all depends on how long after the sun the two planets set. Next time around (May 2013), Venus and Jupiter will be closer together but will set very soon after our sun, making them visible for a much shorter amount of time and seeming to dim their brightness in our relatively lighter sky. This time around, the two planets are hanging about for nearly four hours after sunset.


and Venus

on a beautiful moonlit night.


  1. I've been out snapping the conjunction the last couple of nights


    and love watching the planets move a little each night! Tomorrow is the day of actual conjunction, when the two planets have the same right ascension.

    I wish dad's observatory was set up but it isn't so I have crap photos! Did you take these yourself? I think you have mixed up in the first photo - as Jupiter is on the left in the sky and venus on the right.

    Hope you've noticed Mars in the East while you've been looking - it won't be as bright and shiny as it has been this month for over two years now.

  2. Wow! lovely photos, well done.
    Its great to get such a clear view of these planets

  3. Thanks Louise. You're quite right, I did! Yes, I have noticed Mars. It's been visible for a while, but harder to spot from here because of trees and stuff.

  4. Awesome! Too bad it's been overcast here all week....I'll look again in May:)

  5. Great photos. This is such a special time to view !
    Try as I might I get terrible shots of the moon. Always too small in my photos. Your are great.
    We have very clear sky in Tucson, so I am always amazed by the amount of stars we get to see on any given night. The University of Arizona has a great telescope that has special evening showings and we also have The Kitt Peak Observatories 56 miles south-west of Tucson.
    I feel so lucky to live here.
    When I lived by the ocean there was always too much mist, fog in the air to really see the stars.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. I've been noticing that in the sky. Thanks for the explanation! ~ Maureen

  7. It's been too misty here :-(

  8. Wow, super photos! My husband was out on the garden last night taking photos, he'd been waiting for the sky to be clear each night and last night it was, I don't think he was too happy with the results though! It is so foggy this morning that I can't imagine another clear night tonight - we'll see:)

  9. They are wonderful aren't they? We have gone out to look at them every night this week.

  10. Great photos :-) I have watching how lovely they look in the sky but not had a chance to take photos myself.