Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early Bird catches the Planets

If you happened to look to the East at 4:30 this morning, you would have seen Venus, Jupiter and the Moon forming a compact triangle in the sky.  If you missed it, try looking Monday morning when they will make sort of a straight-ish line in the sky.

Oh, I just checked and these picture look much better if you click on one of them to see the full size versions.
This picture, above shows what I saw with my naked eye this morning from about 4:30 'till 5, when I went back to sleep.  That is Jupiter at the top, the Moon in the middle and Venus to the lower right.  You might also be able to spot Aldebaran slightly below half way up on the right side of the frame.  This was a quarter second exposure.

When I shot a half second exposure, I also caught the rest of the stars that make up the V shape of the horns of the bull, Taurus.
The point of the V shape is near the upper right corner of the frame, Aldebaran is at the end of one of the horns, and the other horn points right at the moon. Aldebaran is known as a "red giant" star and you can see it has a different coloration than the planets and other stars.

There was a slight amount of haze in the sky this morning.  If it is clear tomorrow am, and if I get to bed early enough tonight, I'll take another picture so you can see where the moon moves to.  Speaking of moving, I do a picture in my files from a week ago, which shows Venus much closer to Aldebaran.  It is fun to watch the planets wander among the fixed stars.

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