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fleeting moments

Venus Jupiter and the Moon Conjunction

Venus Jupiter and the Moon.  © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

Venus Jupiter and the Moon. © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2015-07-01 06:43 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 1 sec.
ISO speed ISO-800
Exposure bias +1 step
Focal length 200mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2015-07-01 07:38 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/8
Exposure time 1/1000 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias +1 step
Focal length 200mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod

On July 1st 2015 there was a very unusual and spectacular view in the Pretoria night sky. A planetary conjunction.

Planetary conjunctions, sometimes called planetary alignments, are fairly common, but the one that took place on the evening of Wednesday 2015-07-01 Was pretty rare and not seen to often.

The 2 brightest planets, which are the third and fourth brightest objects in our skies – after the sun and moon, were in a spectacular conjunction. They were so close to each other that If you held the tip of your little finger out at arms length in front of you, between your eye and the 2 bright objects in the sky, they would be blocked from your view. Wow, I must admit that in my lifetime I have never had an opportunity to see that. Experiencing that was a humbling experience and just put so much into perspective for me again.

It was practically a full moon on the night so it was not an ideal night to be photographing stars or planets. However I knew that I could not let an opportunity like this slip by so I took up the challenge to get some photographs. Once I had captured a dozen or so photos I had a look at them on my PC then came to the conclusion that creating a composite photo would create great impact and help me to always retain the memory of my experience from that night.

  • Above is the result of that composite picture. It consists of a long exposure of Venus and Jupiter that were captured in a single image. You will notice one of Jupiter’s moons close to it, which was a bonus in this image. I was hoping to capture any of Jupiter’s moons, but did not expect to be successful because of the bright washed out sky due to the nearby full moon.
  • Inserted into this photo is an almost full moon which was a little too far away to include into the first photo. If I had done that the two planets would have formed tow small dots of light in the bottom left corner of the image and would not have been impressive at all. Also you will notice i had to shoot the moon at a very high shutter speed to preventing it from over exposing and washing out the black sky completely.

I have posted a version of this, and other photographs, on my John Golden Photography website.

Also go here to see my another photo which I took 20 days later of this same 2015 planetary and lunar conjunction.

My next post will be of a photograph I made of a near conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon on 2015-06-20 where these three heavenly bodies were close enough to each other for me to be able to capture them in a single image.

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