This month produced a very close conjunction of Mars and Neptune with the two planets separated by only a couple of arc minutes or so. This image shows a very overexposed Mars, with a bluish Neptune close by. And very near to Neptune, its large moon Triton is clearly visible. The image is a composite of 12 x 10sec exposures.
The nearly-full moon was so bright tonight that the only sensible target seemed to be Mars! This was taken through a newly-collimated 8″ LX200R with an Opticstar PX-75C camera using a x2 Barlow. Approximately 400 frames out of 2200 were processed in Registax 5.
It was a somewhat murky night, but having got the Canon piggybacked on the EQ6, I swung round towards Mars, which was passing close by some of the Leo galaxies – M95, M96 and M105 amongst others. This image is from 30 x 30 second exposures at ISO800 through a 200mm f/2.8L lens at f/3.2. Mars itself clearly illuminated the slight atmospheric haze, but a number of background galaxies are visible, as indicated by the screenshot from SkyMap Pro.
There are still two days to go before the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, but the weather forecast isn’t good, so it seemed like it would be a good idea to have a go tonight while it was relatively clear! Taken with a Canon EOS400D with a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 lens, this image was composed from 20 x 5 second exposures at ISO800, f/4, and shows the two planets amongst the background stars on the Aries/Cetus border.
Here, taken over the last couple of days, are some views of the four major planets that have been visible in the evening sky. All were taken through the MN190 with an Opticstar P75C and 2x Barlow. Mars, high in the sky, and Saturn, low down in the murk, were taken last night; Jupiter (with Ganymede close to the planet) and the inscrutable Venus were captured tonight, just after sunset.