Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturn, Venus, Mercury & Moon Conjunction

Click on picture for larger view
Planet conjunctions are some of the prettiest scenes in the morning sky. When a thin crescent Moon is in there, it is even more beautiful. About 6:30 a.m., Friday morning October 16, I looked out of my RV window and saw the above scene. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera, slapped it on my tripod, put a jacket over my pajamas and stepped outside and started shooting various exposures before twilight washed it out. These type of events last for only a few minutes, where the color and lighting is just right. Before that magic moment, the sky is too dark and afterwards the sky is too bright. This conjunction has Saturn at the top, Venus below it and Mercury near the horizon, and of course the Moon.

Click on the image for a larger view
Not all conjunctions appear in the morning sky. The next conjunction with the Moon in the scene is on December 20, 2009 evening sky, about 6:45 p.m. In this scene, the planets are Jupiter and Mercury. On this date, Venus and Saturn are still only visible in the morning sky, with Venus being only 5 degrees from the Sun and probably too close to see. How do I know this information? Well, I use a planetarium program called Starry Night Pro. It's very easy to find conjunctions like these. I lock the view on the Moon, then go forward day by day and watch for the Moon to be near planets, bright stars, etc. I then mark my calendar and wait for that date and hope for a clear sky.


  1. We want to know about the star of bethlehem and is it possible to see it now, or when will be the next time to be able to see it

  2. The star of Bethlehem has had a long history of study with many viewpoints. Since I am an amateur astronomer, I tend to view this story from that point of view. One explanation is at this link:
    If you want other links just Google "star of bethlehem". On the question about seeing this event again. It is not possible to see this event exactly as it happened 2000 years ago. To understand why, you'll have to read the link.

  3. In the late 1990's Jupiter and Saturn(?) actually came together during the winter months!! Their pairing looked like a Star with a tail. This occurred during November/December and made me think, "This could very well have been the Star of Bethlehem!" Since both planets have the retrograde motion, it was an event to watch as they met and separated. I clearly remember how bright they were, and they appeared as one star!

  4. Thanks for share this information, I just know about that,and will get advantage from this,Thanks for share this.