Appulse of Mars, Jupiter & Saturn,
07 April 2020
It's not often that three planets are visible close together in the sky, but on the morning of 07 April 2020, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn came within a 10° field of view. They were poorly placed for observers in northern latitudes, all at low altitude close to the SE horizon which meant that, unfortunately, due to various obstructions, they were not visible from my house or garden. The ban due to COVID-19 on non-essential travel meant that I could not drive elsewhere to find a clear horizon, so I crept under cover of darkness into the middle of the cul-de-sac where I live to find a suitable vantage point from which to observe.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were at altitudes respectively 7°, 10° and 9°, with the Sun at -10°. My photograph of the planets is below. To my amazement, the photograph also shows two Galilean satellites of Jupiter and Saturn's largest satellite, Titan, at the limit of detection. Fainter objects could be found in the darker sky at higher altitude. Dwarf planet Pluto was also in the frame, some 46 arc-minutes south of Jupiter but, at magnitude 14, was well out of range!