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Weather, More Weather,
Moon and Close Venus-Mars Conjunction

Posted: 21 February 2015

I like to compare weather forecasts when planning my nightly observing sessions. I usually use Clear Sky Chart and 7Timer!. Sometimes they both show pretty much the same forecast for cloud cover. And sometimes they show quite different forecasts. These two forecasts for Wednesday night were both from Wednesday morning, 18 February 2015. CSC forecasts clear conditions while 7Timer! said it would be mostly cloudy at night:



These were the late afternoon forecasts:



Which was right, Clear Sky Chart or 7Timer!? This fisheye lens view straight up (north at top, west at right) shows the sky as seen from near the observatory shortly after sunset:


The blue areas are actually dark clouds. 7Timer! was more accurate than Clear Sky Chart, at least on this night.

Cloudy skies continued, with 7Timer! continuing to be more accurate than CSC for my location.

And speaking of weather, I have posted my review of the Netatmo Weather Station.

The sky was overcast on Friday, 20 February, so I missed out seeing the close conjunction of Venus, Mars, and the Moon. Rats.

Saturday, 21 February, was mostly cloudy all day long but there were some openings in the clouds after sunset.

I grabbed my Nikon D7000 DSLR and tripod and took some photos of the moon well above Venus and Mars, which were in a close conjunction of about 0.4°. The first photo is f/4.5, 1/5sec, ISO 1600, FL 18mm. Mars is just visible to the right of Venus in this pretty twilight photo:

Click or tap on image for larger version

This second photo is f/4.8, 1/5sec, ISO 1600, FL 45mm, and cropped to show the Moon at the top and Venus and Mars at the bottom:

Click or tap on image for larger version

Be certain you click or tap on the images to see larger versions.

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