Three Planets At The Solstice Night
Taken by Petr Horálek on June 20, 2018 @ Ústupky, Czech Republic
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At the calm solstice night on 20th June 2018 over Seč reservoir, there was so much to see. Besides the summer Milky Way (for northern hemisphere), the most prominent planetary „trio“ is visible over the horizon. These three planets are very close to their oppositions dates, in fact within 79 days. While Jupiter has already been in its opposition to the Sun in May this year, Saturn will be very soon – on 27th June 2018, about a week after the solstice. Most interesting is, however, planet Mars. Its oppostion occurs on 27th July (same day with century’s longest lunar eclipse) and it will be the closest to Earth since 2003! Even if the image was taken at about local midnight, the sky is not quite dark. It is not due to light pollution this time, but because of the side effect of solstice over the Czech Republic. As the country lies in 50 degrees of latitude, there is only „astronomical twilight“ in all nights about three weeks around the solstice date and night sky cannot get dark even in the latest hours. You can also notice faint airglow in the view around the planets or Andromeda galaxy behind the trees in the twilight colors. Used Canon 6D Baared IR modified, Sigma 24 mm, f2.2, ISO 8000, 72x15s panorama from tripod.

Enjoy also virtual reality view of this image: http://www.astronom.cz/horalek/?p=4029
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