20150618 venus, jupiter and waxing moon
The countdown is on for the end of June when Jupiter and Venus come within about 1 degree of each during their conjuction! Look outside after dusk to the West to see them. Venus appears larger and brighter on the right. Not shown in the photo is Regulus, part of the Leo constellation – it can be seen to the left of Jupiter, almost forming a line. The next few nights will provide us with great views with the moon appearing closer to the two planets. Get out and look!
From left to right: Mt Tam, Jupiter, Venus, waxing Moon
2015 Feb 20 – venus, mars and the moon
On Friday night, Venus, the waxing crescent Moon and Mars came together in a beautiful alignment. The norCal skies allowed unobstructed viewing with 60 degree evening temps and no wind. Mars appears very faint in between Venus and the Moon, but during early twilight it was difficult to see Mars. The purple sky was a striking backdrop. The three were all within 2 degrees of each other – the next night, Venus and Mars were even closer together and in conjunction (less than 1/2 a degree apart).
One of the last shots of the evening, the haze of some fog / cloud cover was encroaching and added an even more surreal effect …
MISSED SHOT OF THE EVENING … great-horned owl with backdrop of celestial alignment. Ack!!! I couldn’t get my tripod set up in time!! It’s an image that remains very clear in my mind though. This was the best I got before the owl flew off, just before my tripod was set and camera settings dialed in …
It certainly wasn’t difficult trying to pass the time in hopes of getting a glimpse of the comet PANSTARRS from a vantage high above the San Francisco Bay …
Luckily the moon was just waxing past its new phase and therefore not too bright as to diminish the view of this dim comet, as the only chance to see it was right after sunset in the western sky for a week or so in the middle of March. Too soon after sunset and the light was too bright to see it – too late, and it would sink below the horizon, or at least into the foggy pillow that had already claimed most of the bridge.
Finally, a few minutes to view this celestial visitor to our solar system.