Appulse of Venus, Mars & Jupiter,
29 October 2015
During October 2015, the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter performed a merry dance in the morning skies! Mars and Jupiter made their closest approach on Saturday 17 October, coming within 0.22° of one another. Just over a week, later, on Sunday 25 October, Venus and Jupiter came within just over one degree of one another. On 26 October, Venus attained Greatest Elongation West (GEW), shining at a spectacular magnitude -5.1. On 28 October, the three planets lay within 1° of one another.
David Murton captured images 1-3 below from his home observatory at Bucklesham, south-east of Ipswich, in the early morning of 29 October 2015, shortly after the planets were at their closest. All photos were taken with a Canon 60da camera body and Canon lenses as follows:
- 18-55mm lens at 18 mm focal length. 1.5 seconds exposure, f8, ISO 800.
- 90-300mm lens at 200 mm focal length. 1.5 seconds exposure, f5.6, ISO 3200.
- 90-300mm lens (again) at 220 mm focal length. 3.0 seconds exposure, f5.6, ISO 2000
Neil Short catpured image 4 from his home in Chelmsford. His report of the observation is as follows:
At 04:15 on the morning of 29 October I was woken by a bad cough. Looking due east out of the window I made out two bright "stars" shining through the trees and bushes in our garden in central Chelmsford. I was instantly reminded of the coverage on the BBC that a three-planet alignment was due so went into the garden to determine if the two bright objects were indeed Venus and Jupiter, and whether Mars was also visible. Fortunately a gap in the trees allowed a clear view of the three planets. Back inside for my camera and the results are below, taken with a Canon 50HS (hand-held) set on auto. The inset was taken at higher zoom to confirm the unmistakable red colour of Mars.