I was really looking forward to viewing last night’s triple conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter, but unfortunately we were socked in with clouds at my location. Fortunately, however there were lots of other people out there who had clear skies, as well as some great equipment to capture the event. Amateur astronomer Tavi Greiner took this spectacular image (link to larger image) at about 6:00 pm local time from the coastal region of North Carolina in the US, and even managed to capture two of Jupiter’s moons. Interestingly, she used just a Canon 400 D camera and telephoto zoom (no telecope) with an exposure of 1.3 seconds, (F/5.6 at ISO 400). Tavi has just recently started doing astrophotography, and was thrilled with this image. “That was such luck for me!” she said. ” We’ve had rain for days and days, and last night it cleared up. But now it’s raining again this (Tuesday) morning. So I feel so fortunate.”
Here’s a list of other places to see more images:
Spaceweather.com has a big list of submitted photos, including some great images taken from Europe of the lunar occultation of Venus. Cosmos4U has an even bigger list, the Discovery Blog will be posting images all week, and Phil Plait even tried his hand at astrophotography.
If you’re new to astrophotography or thinking about trying it, you can take heart from Tavi Greiner’s excellent results. She said she has been doing regular astronomy with telescopes and binoculars for quite some time, but got a camera a few months ago.
“I wanted to try astrophotography, but without a telescope,” she said. “I’ve been trying to teach myself, and I’m not very good at it yet, but I wanted to be able to show my children what’s all out there that we’re not seeing with our eyes. So I was really tickled with this particular picture, because it proves my point that we’re looking at this beautiful moon and the planets, and look at what our eyes aren’t seeing, but its right there: these little moons! It’s just thrilling. Just look at the things that can be revealed in just a few seconds.”