On normal weekday mornings there are no time for astronomical observations, but this morning the cat woke me up half a hour before the alarm was set. After feeding her I looked out the kitchen window towards the east, and was treated with Venus at it’s very best, supported by both Jupiter and Mars. The triple conjunction was set on a crispy and velvet black sky and crowned by magnificent Leo.
The magic of the moment is lost in my sketch, but at least it capture the event. Leo is drawn free hand, and the proportions are a bit off.
In addition to the observation presented above, I have sketched the conjunction on three different occasions.
The conjunction was observed on the evening of 30 June. At the time the sun had just sunken below the horizon so the sky was still bright (not that it ever gets very dark during the Swedish summers). The sky was clear but I had some interfering altocumulus to the west. Eventually the clouds drifted away, making room for the celestial display. I used my SkyWatcher 10″ for the observations. The first sketch was made with a Baader Hyperion 24 mm eyepiece (50x, FOV ca 80′), the second with a Hyperion 13 mm (92x, FOV ca 44′). At the eyepiece the two planets took on very different appearances. Venus, being the brighter of the two, shone in brilliant white, showing its crescent phase very well. In comparison Jupiter was duller, its disc displaying a brownish hue. Despite the lack of contrast the two main belts were quite distinct. Some lingering clouds made for at nice forefront.
Constantly changing Jupiter is always an interesting target. Below is three sketches made during this spring when Jupiter has been comfortable situated in the evening sky. The first one was made on 30 March 2015, UT 19:30, using a Skywatcher 10″ dobsonian and a TeleVue Nagler zoom 3-6 mm. The seeing was quite good allowing for a magnification of 240x. The Great Red Spot showed up well and displayed a warm orange tint. At the time Jupiter’s moons where in double conjunctions with Europa and Io on the eastern side (left i sketch), and Ganymede and Callisto on the western.
The second sketch was made on 3 April 2015, UT 18:30, equipment as above. Seeing was average and I had to settle for a magnification of 200x.
The third sketch was made on 8 April 2015, UT 19:30, equipment as above. The GRS was just emerging at the western limb. Not sure why, but I have managed to exaggerate its proportions, and also to darken its surroundings a bit to much.