Jupiter And Mars Close Conjunction
Taken by Dennis Simmons on January 7, 2018 @ Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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Date Taken: 2018:01:07 16:14:14
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Whilst waiting for the tightly spaced Jupiter/Mars pair to clear the trees before the dawn sky brightened too much, I dawdled on our own Moon and took a few test shots just to ensure all the equipment was configured and operating correctly.

It was a bit of a race with the brightening dawn skies, hoping that Jupiter and Mars would clear the tree-line before they were dimmed by the impending day light.

I glimpsed tantalising views of Jupiter and the 4 Galilean Moons through the thin foliage as the topmost branches swayed in the light breeze then finally, Jupiter and Mars heaved themselves clear of the tree-line and I got to work recording this close conjunction.

I took several frames at varying ISO speeds (ISO100 to ISO3200) and shutter speeds (1/8 sec to 30 secs) so I could later select frames that showed the field stars (Jupiter and Mars grossly over exposed) and the disc of Jupiter with the equatorial bands.

A little bit of Photoshop magic allowed me to combine the sets and produce this composite. Later in the day, it stuck me that as I had taken photos of our Moon with the same set up, I could overlay the Jupiter/Mars pair on the Lunar Disc to illustrate how close this conjunction was.

According to ST3 Pro, the separation between Jupiter and Mars was some 14 arc mins, less than ½ diameter of the full Moon. Brisbane, Qld, Australia, 7th Jan 2018 at 4:15 am AEST (UT+10).


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