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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sky photos, 9/1/2010

Venus, Spica, and Mars have moved relative to each other once again.  So goes the clockwork of the heavens.

I started out the evening at 8:22 PM with a wide shot, hoping to perhaps capture Saturn far to the right of Venus.  But even if Saturn were visible under these lighting conditions, I believe it is somewhere behind the rooftops on the right.

While probably not visible at this resolution, a careful scan of the original full-sized version of this image revealed a bright star in the upper right.  After consulting a chart in Guy Ottewell's Astronomical Calendar 2010, I believe that this is actually Arcturus.

Acturus (circled)

See?  I'm not messing with you.  I did the composite-image trick, and this dot appears on all the images, and moves just like Venus, so it's really there and not some image artifact.

I zoomed in to image the celestial trio of Venus, Spica, and Mars.  Here is an image taken at 8:25 PM:

(Note the difference in sky brightness between these two images.  I think this is an artifact of the "Night Landscape" setting that I use for all these photos.)  Two days ago Venus, Spica, and Mars made an almost perfect Right Triangle; now the triangle has flattened out to something approaching a straight line.  Once again, Venus is the bright thing on the left, Spica is in the middle, and Mars is on the right.  Compare this to the previous image to see how tight this zoom is.

And here is tonight's composite time lapse.  Note that in the final two images, Venus is actually partially obscured by one of the distant trees!

1 comment:

Stephen Albert said...

Very interesting stuff!