Thursday, January 7, 2016

The moon, Venus and Saturn conjunction

Today (Jan 7th 2016) there was a very nice planetary trio. The moon, Venus and Saturn formed an almost equilateral triangle in the early dawn sky. The distance between any pair of celestial bodies was about 2.5 degrees.
All orbs were in the constellation Ophiuchus (Oph). There are only 12 signs in the zodiac but in the modern division of the sky into constellations, it turns out that the sun also travels through Ophiuchus for some days in the year (The moon can be in even more constellations!)

Here are some photos

The trio. Venus is very bright and Saturn is the dimmer star below.
The moon Venus and Saturn
The moon Venus and Saturn
A wide field photo with part of Scorpio constellation in the right side of the photo. You will probably need to enlarge the photo to see it properly, and even see some of the red hue of Antares. Scorpio is a summer constellation and in the winter it rise just shortly before sunrise. 
The moon Venus and Saturn
The moon Venus and Saturn
Using longer exposure we can see the Earthshine and many dim stars. You will need to enlarge this as well. Notice HIP81695 which is on the right limb of the moon and two small stars (HIP81632 and HIP81754) above Saturn.
The moon Venus and Saturn
The moon Venus and Saturn
The last photo is on brighter sky just before sunrise.
The moon Venus and Saturn
The moon Venus and Saturn

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