Planets on show

The weather almost thwarted my plans to see the triple planetary conjunction this week. Thursday was clear until the evening when some cloud decided to sit on the western horizon blocking the view. Friday was worse as it rained all day. I woke on Saturday morning to a cloud covered sky. The cloud hung around all day but in the late evening, thankfully, it started to clear. Not having a low western horizon nearby Megan and I rushed to the Physics building to get a better view. We found a vantage point on the top floor looking out across Manchester towards Salford Keys. I managed to take a few pictures with my camera, one of which is below.

Venus and Mercury

You can easily see Venus and, if you click on the image for the larger version, you should be able to see Mercury to the right of it as well. It was the first time that I've ever seen Mercury so it was quite exciting. You may be able to convince yourself that you can also see Saturn if you squint a bit, but it isn't obvious (it helps if you know where to expect it relative to Venus and Mercury). I think the sky was just a bit too bright and the murk a bit too thick to see the fantastic ringed planet. That wasn't the end of the show though, as Jupiter could also be seen below Arcturus in the WSW.

Mercury, Venus, Saturn (maybe), Jupiter and a shooting star (passing below Arcturus) all within the space of an hour. What a great night. If you haven't seen the conjunction yet, don't panic, there is still chance. Although the planets are now starting to move away from one another, they will be fairly close for a few more nights yet.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 26th Jun 2005 (01:21 UTC) | Permalink
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