Friday June 19 was a special day for me. I’ve been watching Venus and Jupiter in the evenings as they have come closer to each other. They will be at an amazing 1/3˚ apart on June 30. Details of that coming event are in this previous post.
After Sunset at 9:30 pm
Weather and clouds play a big role in getting good views. The past week has been mediocre. I have viewed the pairing on three of the recent five evenings. I am trying to get a series of photographs that I can combine into a sequence to document the days leading up to the close pairing on the 30th. The view Friday evening was perfect. Plus, the new moon was nearby. Bonus points for me.
Mid-afternoon at 4:30 pm
Friday was a beautiful clear day with low humidity. The sky was transparent blue. It was a perfect opportunity to see Venus and Jupiter in the afternoon light. I was able to view Venus and Jupiter in broad daylight when the Sun was still high in the sky at 4:30 pm. I have seen each in daytime before, but not on the same day.
I put the camera on the tripod. Using software, I looked up the time when Venus would be straight south. The software told me it would be 67˚ up in the sky at 4:30 pm. If you know where to look for Venus in the daytime, it is not hard to see with the naked eye since it is so bright. I pointed the camera and did some test shots. This was the best one.
I knew Jupiter was supposed to be close by. Jupiter is not nearly as bright or easy to see as Venus. I scanned with my naked eyes first. Nothing. I tried binoculars. Nothing. I got out my telescope. Being of larger aperture, it gathered more light for a brighter and bigger view. Don, my neighbor, walked by with his dog. He wondered what I was looking at. So, I showed him Venus. He said it looked like the crescent moon. He was correct.
After Don left, I continued to scan the sky for Jupiter. Finally, there it was! It was a perfect globe that even showed some very faint cloud bands on high power. None of the Galilean Moons was visible. I hurried into the house for the phone. It has a very good camera in it. Carefully I held it to the eyepiece so I wouldn’t bump the telescope. I tried five exposures hoping one would be ok. I was lucky. There is Jupiter in the center.
In the evenings ahead, I will continue to get some images of the pair as they approach each other. Maybe the sequence composite will be something to share. I am looking forward to the main event on the 30th and hope we have a clear evening for it. Watch the sky in your neighborhood. Enjoy the show.