Antares With Venus

Image exposure:
1.3 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, Canon 60d with fixed 135mm lens
Image field of view:
approx 8° x 5°
Image date:
2021-10-17 @20.02hr

The brightest planet with the fifteenth brightest star! Scorpius is setting in the West and the red giant Antares is its most impressive star. This is another chance image with the Canon camera, having stepped outside and noticing Antares and Venus so close to conjunction. The pair are currently about 1.5° apart, which to the naked eye is enchantingly close!

There are two bright globular clusters which might otherwise have appeared in this field of view but for the short 1.3 second exposure. There is some moonlit atmospheric cloud appearing in the image but it does not spoil the view.

I like the Venusian diffraction spikes but with a focal ratio of only f/2.8, I’m not sure how I got them. Normally I would stop down to f/16 or more to pick up spikes. Maybe I was slightly off focus or perhaps it had something to do with the high cloud in the vicinity. I’d like to think the latter….

Antares is a variable Type M cool red giant with a hot Type B main sequence companion, which is not visible in this image. It is a progenitor supernova candidate.

Interesting fact: Antares is so big that if it replaced the Sun at the centre of our Solar System, its outer surface would be somewhere beyond the orbit of Mars.

No telescope on the go at the moment, I’m still setting up my old Schmidt-Cassegraine reflector on the mount.

Cosmic Focus Observatory

34° S

Above us only sky….

Images © Roger Powell
I’m one of the founder members of Macarthur Astronomical Society


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