Four planets in the evening – March 9, 2015

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These days, whoever looks after sunset towards the western horizon, can see the bright planet Venus. A bit lower and to the right, another planet is easily visible when the sky goes darker: Mars. Near Mars, and identifiable by using a sky chart, is planet Uranus. On the other part of the sky, Jupiter is already quite high above the horizon. This was the view Claudiu and myself had on the evening of March 9, when we went south of my home to observe Jupiter with an 8″ telescope. But before the scope got close to thermal equilibrium, I’ve decided that the beautiful Venus-Uranus-Mars gathering should be photographed. The following images were acquired with a 100mm Canon macro lens and Canon 550D camera at ISO 400 and 200, mounted onto an EQ6 mount. Exposures were of 15 to 20 seconds each. Conj 3 Conj 2 Conj 1 And a 22-frame stack, showing the planets and near-by stars a little better, but also the clouds rolling in: Venus Mars UranusTo identify some of the objects in the images, I’ve placed the names onto a grayscale version of the above: ChartAnd eventually the clouds rolled in…and our view of Jupiter was very brief, stable, but with very poor transparency. The only results decent enough, were these: Jupiter Still waiting to test my 14″ Newtonian under good conditions…but those conditions seem unreachable lately. Max

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