Lunar Eclipse | 15 May 2022

The skies cleared as evening approached. The Moon was aligned with Earth and the Sun. Their syzygy at 9:30 pm CDT brought the Moon into the umbra of the Earth’s shadow. Desktop software gave a simulated view like this. The faint inner circle is the umbra. The larger circle is the penumbra.

My camera was mounted on a tripod and set for capturing images about every 15 minutes starting at 9:30. The images were cropped to place the umbra in nearly the same place in each image. That placement highlighted the movement of the Moon over the 15 minute time periods between photos.

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Jupiter and Venus Cross Paths

During April 2022, the morning predawn sky had Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter in various alignments. In the last days of April, Jupiter approached Venus and closed the angular distance between them as seen from our perspective on Earth. This short video shows the locations of the planets as time is stepped forward from 27 April to 4 May. Notice how Earth, Venus, and Jupiter are nearly along the same line of sight at the middle of that time interval.

I hoped to get an image of Venus and Jupiter on 30 April when they were at their closest angular distance of about 0.3˚. Our Moon’s diameter in the sky is only 0.5˚. But, cloudy skies during that time prevented any sight of the pair. Today, 4 May, the sky was finally clear. I got a good image of Jupiter well past and to the right of Venus. This composite aligns today’s image with 3 previous images.

I assumed someone in the world had a clear sky on 30 April and got an image of the two planets together in the same field of view of a telescope eyepiece. I check daily for interesting astronomical images on Spaceweather Gallery. There I found an image by Particio Leon in Santiago, Chile, taken at 11:27 am local time. They displayed differences in size, phase and surface brightness. He used a Canon Canon EOS Rebel T7i through his 8″ telescope with settings of f/6, 1/320s, and ISO100. I took the liberty of rotating his image to simulate my view from the northern hemisphere if I had been able to witness it myself.

Patricio Leon | Santiago, Chile

Venus Saturn Mars

Venus has been a prominent early morning sight for several weeks. If you are an early-riser and look low toward east, you can’t miss it. It will be there until late summer or early fall. Less obvious in the same part of the sky are the planets Saturn and Mars. On 28 March 2022, the clear predawn sky even presented a thin crescent Moon below this grouping of those planets.

On successive mornings, Saturn and Mars approached closer to each other. This view on 3 April 2022 was photographed through a living room window. The green thing is a glass ornament. This was the only unobstructed viewpoint due to trees and rooftops.

3 April 2022 at 6:14 am

It was a rainy morning on April 4. But, the sky was mostly clear on the 5th. Saturn and Mars were at their closest approach less than the diameter of a full moon.

5 April 2022 at 6:00 am

Keep watching that part of the sky to the lower left of Venus. Jupiter will begin making an appearance. On 18 April 2022, these four planets will form a straight line like this.

18 April 2022 at 6:00 am

ISS Pass Segments

The International Space Station passed over my part of the world recently. I like to watch it when the conditions are right. Sometimes, I set up the iPad for a time exposure. This time I recorded the event with a different camera setup. My Canon was on a tripod pointed at the west-northwest sky. Six exposures were made. Each was 15 sec in duration. Each was started 40 sec after the start of the previous one. The first two images were combined with software into this one image. It was a little after 8:08 pm local time. Other objects of interest in the image are Taurus in upper left, Pleiades a little below right from Taurus, Perseus in top center, and Cassiopeia right center.

Looking west-northwest

During the intervening seconds before the third image, I turned the camera on the tripod to face northwest above Cassiopeia. I moved the camera and missed the fourth image.

Looking northwest

Images five and six were with the camera pointing north-northeast toward the Big Dipper. The dipper points to Polaris. The Little Dipper is barely visible.

Looking north-northeast

This was the first time I captured images from nearly horizon-to-horizon by moving the camera during the sequence. If you are viewing by phone or a tablet device, the details in the images might not show. A full-screen desktop view works best.