Convergence: Venus, the Moon and Jupiter, February 25, 2012

I walked into the backyard this evening and was surprised by a fairly nice astro-convergence happening tonight. A waxing moon formed a triangle with Venus to the lower left, and Jupiter to the upper left.

I took a few quick pictures off my back porch. Didn’t have time to do anything to fancy.

Here’s my favorite. Scroll down to see the whole thing.

Tech Notes: Taken on my Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 at about 70mm to get …

Astrophotography: Moon-Venus Convergence, November 27, 2011

I just got a new Nikon D700. One of the reasons I wanted it was for astrophotography. It is very strong at both long exposure images and at using high ISO.

Last night and tonight there was a convergence of the Moon and Venus. It was actually better last night (Saturday), but I wasn’t able to shoot.

So, I took the opportunity tonight to try out the D700 on astrophotography. It certainly performed well, but I can’t wait to try …

Astrophotography: Venus and Mars Convergence

The last few weeks, Venus has been bright in the sky in the early evening, as it chases the sun in the solar plane. Tonight (and the last few nights), Mars joined Venus to its upper right, and I caught a few pictures as it dipped below the neighbor’s roof.

Once they were our of sight, I turned to the south and caught the rising, nearly-full Moon.

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Tech Notes: All pictures taken with a Nikon D200 and a …

Two Missed Astrophotography Opportunities

Pre-dawn clouds Friday and Saturday kept me from shooting a couple of wonderful convergences this week. Yesterday (June 19, 2009), the crescent Moon grouped with Venus and Mars. Venus was to the lower right of the Moon, and the much fainter Mars was between them. The clouds were just broken enough that I was able to get an occasional glimpse of this Friday morning, but I wasn't able to get any pictures.

Astrophotography: Moon-Venus-Mars Convergence, May 21, 2009

The best planetary convergence of May 2009 occurred this morning, with the Moon, Venus and Mars forming a triangle in the eastern, pre-dawn sky. Being in the eastern sky, there was considerable light pollution coming from Austin and Round Rock. I didn't feel like driving to the other side of Williamson County at 5am, so I just worked with it as best I could. Mars is in the lowest part of the images, many times only visible as a small dot. It was actually a bit more visible to the naked eye, with a clear reddish tint.

Astrophotography: Venus-Moon Conjunction, April 22, 2009

For those out in about in the early hours this morning, you may have been treated to an unusual site, the moon and venus right next to each other in the sky. This dance between the moon and venus has been going on for a few months, but this morning, the crescent moon actually passed in front of a crescent venus (known as an occultation in astronomy). I'm not what you would call a morning person (I much prefer to shoot in the late evening), but I drug myself out of bed to take some pictures of this. This conjunction was bright enough that I could actually shoot it from my front yard, without having to drive away from the bright lights.

Astrophotography: Moon-Venus Convergence, February 27, 2009

In what has become a busy week for astrophotography, the Moon and Venus danced close together this evening, with the Moon in its faintest mode and Venus in its brightest. Both were actually crescents. Unlike the Moon, which is in a crescent phase when it is least bright, Venus is at its brightest when it is a crescent. This is because it can only be a crescent when it is relatively close to us, and can only be full when it is on the other side of the sun from us (and thus fainter due to distance).

Astrophotography – Venus, February 22, 2009

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had quite a few people ask me, “What’s that incredibly bright star in the western sky just after sunset?”

Actually, it’s no star. It’s our sister planet Venus, and she’s so bright because she’s relatively close to us right now.

We are still getting closer, so Venus will gain in brightness over the coming days, but I decided to get out and try to get a shot of her tonight. This was off the …

Astrophotography: Moon-Venus-Jupiter Convergence – December 1st

The skies Monday night were clear as could be for the convergence of the three brightest objects in the night sky, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter.

That’s Venus at six o’clock and Jupiter at four o’clock. Obviously, the Moon is at eleven o’clock.

I shot in a part of my Cedar Park subdivision that is only partially developed. Here are some more pictures.

The crescent Moon is coming through as a circle because it is so much brighter than everything …

Astrophotography: Venus-Jupiter Convergence – November 30th

For those that don’t know, there is an interesting convergence of celestial objects occurring right now. The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have been moving closer and closer together over the last few weeks. Tonight and tomorrow night, they are only two degrees apart.

It was a tough night for astrophotography. The convergence occurs just after sundown, and only lasts two or three hours each night before it sets. As the sun was going down here in Austin, the …