Conjunction: Moon, Venus and Mars

Exposure:
2 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400
Camera:
Canon 60D
Camera lens
50mm Sigma lens
Image date:
2021-07-12

Unlike my previous image of Venus after it returned to the evening sky last month – which was taken in panic mode – I had plenty of time to prepare for this one, a conjunction. The crescent Moon is visible with its dark side glowing from reflected light from the Earth, called Moonshine, or the Ashen Glow. It must be awfully bright at night on the Moon, at least on the side which perpetually faces us.

Above the Moon is Venus and just above Venus is Mars, which seems to be taking an eternity to sink in the West after its inferior conjunction nearly twelve months ago. It will not be until October that it passes from the evening sky and commences another appearance in the morning twilight.


Soapbox Time.

Here in Sydney we have been in covid lock-down since 26th June, after the so-called delta strain escaped our quarantine system and began spreading. Except many people are not staying home and the number of infections is going up faster than the tracing team can isolate them.

Until now a closed border policy has kept our infections and deaths down but now we are back to where we were in March 2020.

We are still very low on actual vaccinations. Our Federal government has botched the vaccine acquisition plan and the planned vaccine rollout itself has been emasculated, with vulnerable front-line workers still waiting, while politicians have been jumping the queue.

Back in March, our Prime Minister was the second person in the country to receive a vaccination, immediately after a ‘token’ elderly woman. In front of the cameras of course. Last year our PM was telling us that Australia was at the head of the vaccine queue. Now we know he really meant that he personally was at the head of the vaccination queue.

Grouch over.

Thanks for reading 🙃


Images © Roger Powell

I’m one of the founder members of Macarthur Astronomical Society and current webmaster.



22 Comments

  1. We’ve had rain and clouds here, and the same for the next few days (but sometimes they are wrong).

    I didn’t know it was happening so I wasn’t concerned about missing it … until just now. I’ll see if there’s a break in the clouds over the next few days, but they will once again be pretty low in the sky unless I find a convenient place to set up.

    I’m also looking forward to the Moon Saturn Jupiter meeting in late August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The more you want to look at the sky, the more cloudy it seems to get. Tonight was semi-cloudy here but my best hope of getting the telescope out. Alas I had to attend a Zoom meeting.

      Like

  2. I welcome your rant. It says exactly what I have been thinking. You say it better !!!
    Fran

    Like

    1. Thanks. Too many people don’t think about the consequences of ignoring the rules.
      As for politicians, too many of them use their position to bend the rules for personal benefit. Our PM (a healthy person in his fifties) would have gained more respect if he had waited his turn before carrying out his vaccination photo-opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Huh . . . I just assume that if they do “the right thing” it’s because it benefits them, or their friends, and only peripherally benefits the public. No idle assumption this.

          . . . but, I’ll stop assuming it when/if I stop seeing politicians quadruple their personal wealth while in office, something the rest of us can’t do via honest work.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for that beautiful picture. I had hopes of seeing the conjunction, too. But, thick overcast said no to that. I am glad to have friends in many places who can see for me and share like this. As to the vaccination woes, we have our share who refuse in spite of the science, the cajoling, and the availability everywhere. I remember a line to his teenage son from Red on That 70’s Show. “Why are you such a dumbass?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was hoping for a higher powered view last night when the separation was about half a degree but as so often happens, the clouds always got in the way. They will again tonight.

      The apathy, ignorance and militant stupidity factor. As our NSW Premier said of the lock-down today: “We know the settings we have in place are the right settings. What we don’t know is what proportion of the population will choose to follow those settings”. That will apply to vaccinations too, when it finally ramps up here.

      Like

  4. I tried a shot with the same setting (and lens) that you used, but ended up with very different results (not even close to anything like yours).

    I’ll play around tomorrow night (clouds permitting), however, the separation between the planets and the planets and the moon are both already greater than what you had, and it’s only going to get worse. Sunday night would have worked for Mars and Venus, and last night would have been great for Mars, Venus, and the moon, but, alas, clouds.

    But still, I’m not sure why those settings worked for you and not for me tonight. The 50mm lens was wide enough to get all three in the frame even with the 1.5x Nikon DX crop (you probably have a full-size sensor).

    Also, planets are now too close to the horizon to get the sharpness that would be nice, and, again, I had trouble focusing. My astigmatism makes manual focusing a crapshoot on anything but very large objects. The autofocus actually worked pretty well, but, again, not like what you got.

    But, I did get some decent shots of the crescent moon using the P900 (after the planets had set).

    No earthshine though . . . maybe I’m just not cut out for astrophotography.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I went out there as soon as Venus became visible, and stayed until it set, trying all manner of settings. Let’s face it . . . it would be easier if they were dragonflies.

        Liked by 1 person

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