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 Post subject: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Location: Maple Shade, NJ
Luckily, the clouds didn't take over completely after sunset yesterday evening (27-August-2016) and I got to see Venus and Jupiter shortly after their close appulse at 6:32 pm EDT when they were slightly less than 4 arc minutes apart. Sunset was at 7:38 pm and I spotted Venus at 7:50 pm with 16x70 binoculars after it descended from a cloud bank. A moment later, I was able to pick out ghostly Jupiter near it. At the time, they were just under 6 arc minutes apart (about a fifth of a moon diameter). Around 8 pm, Venus was obvious to my unaided eyes, and I thought I could glimpse Jupiter at the 5 o'clock position with respect to Venus. By 8:08 pm, I was certain that I was seeing Jupiter with unaided eyes, which I didn't think would be possible because of the narrow separation and brightness difference. As they sank lower into thicker atmosphere, but deepening twilight, the brightness differential seemed to diminish.


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File comment: Venus (above) and Jupiter (below) at 8:14 pm. Taken with a Canon 6D digital SLR camera (on a fixed tripod) and a Sigma 70 to 300 mm f/4-5.6 apo zoom lens set to 300 mm focal length. Exposed 1/10 second at f/5.6, ISO 1600.
Venus+Jupiter_27-August-2016_1000.jpg
Venus+Jupiter_27-August-2016_1000.jpg [ 35.92 KiB | Viewed 2555 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:07 am 
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Joe,
Thanks for the detailed info and picture.

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:24 pm 
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You're welcome Bill!

I fear that sometimes I'm too verbose with my reports and descriptions, but I find it unsatisfactory when astro-images are presented without any amplifying information. I try to follow the old "who, what, when, where and why" adage. The image itself is just a part of the overall "picture."

Did anyone else see this close conjunction and appulse on August 27th? Unfortunately, the weather in New Jersey that day wasn't ideal, and I'm sure many folks were clouded out. I was lucky that from my location, the two planets found a break in the clouds before they sank behind the trees.

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:39 pm
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Location: Gilford Park
I saw the appulse from Seaside Park's bayside 45 minutes after sunset.

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:30 am 
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That's great Chris!

Since then, Jupiter has passed conjunction with the sun (this past Monday, Sept 26, at 3 pm EDT), so it's now in the morning sky. This morning (Sept 28), it rose 9 minutes before the sun and on Sunday (Oct 2), it will rise 24 minutes before the sun and have a solar elongation of just under 5 degrees. Since the ecliptic is nearly vertical around sunrise this time of the year, virtually all of the elongation translates into altitude.

Therefore, it won't be long before Jupiter can be spotted in morning twilight. I'll start keeping an eye out for it when I go out to look at Mercury in the coming mornings, weather permitting. Unfortunately, Mercury's close appulse with the thin crescent moon tomorrow morning (Thursday, Sept 29) looks like it'll be clouded out.

In addition, the currently steep ecliptic and impending new moon (Sept 30) make it a good time to look for the Zodiacal Light, but besides cooperative weather, you need a dark sky to see this dim glow. I've seen it in the morning a number of times from the New Jersey Pines, and while dim, it was distinctly there.

Has anybody ever seen the ZL looking east over the ocean in the morning with significant light pollution (e.g., Toms River) behind you? I once saw the ZL in the evening looking west over the Delaware Bay from Sunset Beach near Cape May Point, but light pollution behind me was only moderate, although the evening sky looking west over the bay surely wasn't as dark as the morning sky looking east over the ocean would be.

At the time (mid-January 2007), we had gone to Sunset Beach to look for the tail streamers of comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) after sunset. My companion did get some images of the tail (the head was visible from the Southern Hemisphere, where it put on a spectacular show), but visually, I saw no hint of the tail. However, while looking for it, I did see a soft glow in the wrong place for the tail. I noticed that it seemed to be following the ecliptic, then duh, I realized it was the ZL!

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:35 pm 
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Looking for the zodiacal light over the Atlantic sounds like a fun challenge.

Seaside's lights haven't become obnoxious yet, IIRC, but IBSP may provide a better vantage point to hunt for this phenomenon.

Maybe I'll head to IBSP early on Friday or over the weekend (if I can find my pass/weather permitting) in hopes of sighting the ZL.

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 Post subject: Re: Venus and Jupiter
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:13 pm 
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The problem with Friday (October 14) is that you're getting close to the full moon (near midnight, October 15/16). On Friday morning, the moon sets around 5 am EDT and astronomical twilight begins around 5:35 am, so the window of darkness is narrow. By the weekend, the moon will be a problem. Looking at the current Clear Sky Chart, tomorrow morning (Tuesday, October 11) looks like a great opportunity.

Unfortunately, I can't get out to a dark site for the Zodiacal Light now, but I will be looking for the close appulse of Mercury and Jupiter on Tuesday morning, about 0.8 degrees apart before sunrise. I saw them this morning when they were 1.7 degrees apart.

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