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Daytime Venus-Moon Conjunction

Posted: 8 October 2015

Thursday, 1 October 2015, was clear at night but a meeting of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee, followed by doing night sky quality measurements at Oracle State Park kept me from opening the observatory that night. Clouds from an approaching storm system arrived on Friday, 2 October, wiping out my opportunity to image the International Space Station (ISS) during a good pass and to observe the newly discovered nova V5669 Sagittarii. Saturday, 3 October, was clear until late afternoon, when clouds returned with some wind, wiping out an excellent ISS pass and another chance to observe the nova in Sagittarius. Sunday was windy with lots of clouds. Monday has a trace of rain early but was windy and cloudy all day and night, wiping another nice ISS pass. Cloudy skies continued on Tuesday, with severe thunderstorms in the area (monsoon season ended 30 September). Cassiopeia Observatory received 0.28" of rain from a couple of brief storms. Wednesday had a brief rainshower (0.02") before sunrise but the cloud sky continued. Thursday, 8 October, dawned clear.

The clear sky allowed me to photograph the daytime conjunction of Venus and the waning crescent Moon. This photo was taken at 0635 MST, a few minutes after sunrise:


This next photo was taken about 3 hours later at 0932 MST:

Click or tap on image for larger version

Both photos above were taken with a Nikon D7200 DSLR, f/8, 1/500sec, FL 300mm lens, and are cropped to the same scale. The Moon's eastward movement towards Venus is clearly shown.

The 300mm lens was able to capture the phase of Venus pretty well, as seen in this crop from the 0635 MST photo:


This photo of the Moon and Venus in the southwestern sky (rotated to closely match the other photos, but with a slightly different scale) was taken at 1240 MST, f/8, 1/500sec, FL 300mm:


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