That Other Conjunction

Moon and Mars

Tonight the Moon was about 7½° from Mars and despite having the conjunction blues, I thought it worth a picture, despite the hazy sky. Mars was still looking bright at magnitude -0.3, although considerably less than it was in October, when it was shining five times brighter at it’s mag -2.4 peak.

Do not take any notice of astrologers who attribute meaning to a conjunction. The effect on this world of other solar system objects is zero.

Near the horizon, Jupiter and Saturn were obscured by early clouds (of course) and had already gone behind the trees by this time. I have officially given up on this Grand Conjunction. I caught it last night but by the time the clouds revealed them it was already passing behind a tree and so any images I got will be pretty useless.

I suppose I now need to add one of those countdown widget thingy, for the next Grand Conjunction on 4th November 2040. I can’t wait….

Image date:2020-12-23.
Camera:Canon 60D, 70mm lens.
Exposure:1 second; f/2.8; ISO 250.
Field of View:About 28.8° x 19.5°.

Images © Roger Powell

I’m a founder member of Macarthur Astronomical Society


  1. Total wipe out up here in Northern NJ for Juptier and Saturn. Promising clear blue skies gave way to clouds just prior to evening, for two days on, before and after the event. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clear but very breezy here last evening. I did see the Moon and Mars high overhead. I’m glad you got that shot.

    I love the blues as a music genre. Pass along the tune when you are finished. I will try to play along on guitar. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you got to see the conjunction, if only briefly.

    I saw effectively the same Moon/Mars positioning last night. My first and always reaction to your photo was, “it’s upside down (again).” 🙂

    “The effect on this world of other solar system objects is zero.” – gravity may disagree, though likely not because of today’s newspaper horoscope.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried getting Mars and the Moon, but I didn’t put much effort into it, so we’ll see how they come out.

    I’ve been busy so I haven’t processed the photos I took . . . but, I noticed something and wondered if I was mistaken . . . it appears I missed a planetary alignment of sorts . . . At the end of November, Saturn, Jupiter, and planet-wannabe-Pluto were nearly in a straight line . . . AND I MISSED IT!

    . . . that would have been an amazing photo with my Nikon.

    As for the Grand Conjunction, I was able to photograph the planets on the 22nd as well . . . and then the weather turned and it’s been cloudy every night since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about the Pluto conjunction, I mentioned it a couple of months ago at:

      It’s still in the same vicinity but Saturn and Jupiter are nearly 7° away now.

      The difference in brightness between Pluto (mag +14.4) and Jupiter (mag -1.9) is currently 16.3 magnitudes which means Pluto’s brightness is about one 3,490,027th that of Jupiter. Not impossible with a DSLR but a challenge.

      The next conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn is when Mercury makes up a threesome on 9th – 11th January – you might see them all bunched together together in a still fairly bright sky just after sunset if you live on a mountain top.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Astronomy is a heart-rending pursuit. When the cosmos is so enormous, how come it is so difficult to see it? (G. K. Chesterton would have appreciated the paradox.)


    1. True, the hobby of astronomy is frustratingly determined by the weather, as many of us found out over the last couple of weeks. ☹

      At the same time I concede that we also live in a very privileged era where advanced technology is available to pursue our passion and that also we have begun to truly understand the Universe.


Your say.......

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s