Thursday, August 21, 2014

Close Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, August 18, 2014

I've been waking up earlier for work with my longer commute from Noblesville, this made it easy to spot the progression of Venus and Jupiter in the sky at 6:08am. On August 16 I saw bright Venus to the upper right of fainter Jupiter, and on August 18 they had switched positions with Jupiter slightly to the right of Venus. It was rather hazy, and I'm glad I saw the pair at all in the yellow pre-dawn glow.

venus and jupiter august 18 conjunction
Single exposure, T5i, f/4.5, 1.6 sec, ISO 400, 135mm

From our perspective, the two were less than 1/2° apart (17 arcminutes according to Stellarium, but at those distances who knows how precise that is). I believe it's the closest conjunction I've seen. Another good one was the Mercury/Mars conjunction in February 2013 that was 22 arcminutes according to Stellarium.

venus and jupiter august 18 conjunction
Single exposure, T5i, f/5.6, 0.8 sec, ISO 1600, 300mm

venus and jupiter august 18 conjunction
Single exposure, T5i, f/4.5, 1.6 sec, ISO 400, 135mm

jupiter venus conjunction august 2014
Single exposure, T5i, f/5.6, 3.2 sec, ISO 400, 55mm

I didn't realize it at the time, but upon closer inspection you can actually make out 3 of Jupiter's moons in my image at 300mm. With the moons to show a little scale, you can tell just how close together the two bodies appear to be! If you read the labels backwards you get a photo of "Jupiter Moons Venus"...

jupiter moons venus

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