Friday, February 8, 2013

Conjunction of Mars and Mercury, February 8, 2013

Conjunction of Mars and Mercury, February 8, 2013
Conjunction of Mercury (top) and Mars

I've been planning ahead for this conjunction of Mars and Mercury for a few days now, and I'm super excited that the clouds dispersed just in time for me to stop the pair hovering over a radio tower. I think this is my first time observing the planet Mercury, which is an added bonus!

mars mercury conjunction canon rebel xt
The conjunction just after sunset in Bowling Green, Ohio

Mercury is the brighter of the two (magnitude -0.89) and slightly above Mars (magnitude 1.38). Mercury was visible when the sky was still very blue/yellow, and Mars wasn't visible with the naked eye until the sky became a little more rusty red. 

mercury mars conjunction february
The clouds and radio tower add a dramatic setting

It's been cloudy all day, but the tail end of winter storm Nemo began to clear up just as the sun was setting. I grabbed my tripod and camera and began to scan the skies looking for a dot of light to poke through the clouds. I found the pair hovering above a radio tower and took as many photos as I could before they got too low in the sky. Not a big window of opportunity, but it looks like luck was on my side. The dispersing clouds and towers in the foreground add a dramatic industrial feel to the setting.

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