Half the world is sleeping
Half the world’s awake
Half can hear their hearts beat
Half just hear them break
I am but a traveler in most every way
Ask me what you want to know
What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
And they’re bound to guide my way
Lyrics from The Journey as sung by Lea Salonga.
All good things must come to an end. The planets Venus and Jupiter are going separate ways in their celestial journey but will meet again on August 27 next year (2016).
I was lucky to see the sun, the earth and the sky bidding them farewell with a spectacular sunset today. You can see both planets in the jet contrail in the upper center. Jupiter is now lower and less bright.
Goodbye and see you together again, next year.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f7.1, 1 sec.
The two planets (and earth) are orbiting and a bit of ‘trailing’ was captured by the slow exposure.
From my position, they appear to be descending or moving diagonally towards the horizon.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 4 sec.
If you were looking out for the conjunction tonight, you may have thought the two planets moved so close together that they merged into a single object. It didn’t happen here, as viewed from very near the equator. Maybe higher in the northern hemisphere or elsewhere they appeared closer.
Due to the haze in the Klang Valley today, it was hard to see both as clearly as last night. I can still see Venus shining bright though. Jupiter is the higher of the two and more faint. The separation is distinct and both were visible for a brief period.
Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 3200, f3.5, 1/40 sec.
The weather forecast for Kuala Lumpur tomorrow night, when the planets are supposed to be closest, don’t look too good. Plus, I wanted a picture when the planets are not merging or merged into a single blob as some predicted, so I shot some tonight just in case.
This is my first time looking and photographing a conjunction of planets, so I really don’t know. Tomorrow could be even better, weather permitting.
There is no need to try to get very close with a very long lens. Although bright, the planets are still small and far, even when using long tele lenses. You will need a telescope with tracking mount to get really close.
You don’t want a a picture of the pair by themselves, anyway. Find a local landmark to juxtapose, if you can. This gives the picture a geographical perspective or identity.
City skyscrapers are good but tricky as the surrounding roads are usually polluted with light from street lights. This can cause flaring and other unwanted effects.
To expose correctly for lighted buildings, you may end up underexposing the relatively less bright planetary bodies.
Finally, you don’t have to photograph the celestial event at all. Watch it live with your naked eyes, take in its beauty and store it to to your memory.
This was photographed with the Sony FE 70-200mm G OSS Lens in 2X CIZ mode.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f14, 4 sec.
Conjunction of Jupiter And Venus 2015 – Part 1
The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, are appearing close together for a rare and dramatic event known as a conjunction. OK. For those in countries where it is now already or past twilight, go to your window or balcony to look. Come back to read Part 2 about photographing the mating planets.
If you are an Android user, install Google Sky Map. It is one of the best reasons to own an Android phone or tablet. Turn on your GPS and search for Venus or Jupiter in the app. Point your phone according to the guide arrows and you will find the two planets in just a few seconds.
Depending on your location, time and phone’s GPS accuracy, the two planets may not be as close or in the exact position shown on screen. The orientation and perceived separation may also vary from that of pictures you have seen. This is because the pictures are most likely photographed from a different location and time.
Nevertheless, the handy app gives you an idea as to where to look. In this picture, the two planets are hidden behind clouds. I know where they are and what they are going to do this summer.
Next: Photographing the conjunction or planetary copulation.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 400, f4, 1/60 sec.