Crescent Moon and Jupiter Conjunction, 23rd March 2009

This morning there was a beautiful conjunction featuring the waning Crescent Moon and Jupiter, less than 2° away. 

Looking through the eyepiece at Jupiter, she appeared to have an extra moon in an odd position – in fact it was a field star, HIP105256. The Galilean Moons were close by – Io was right next to Jupiter, with Europa and Callisto a little further away. Ganymede was in transit but was not observed.

I was able to fit the pairing in the field of view of my Canon 350D when attached at prime focus to my Saxon ED80, so I snapped off a few images before heading to work. Unfortunately I didn’t nail the focus and didn’t notice until I’d finished.

Please click the image to see the full-size.

Moon, Jupiter and Stars Conjunction. Click image for full-size.

Moon, Jupiter and Stars Conjunction. Click image for full-size.

While viewing the images on the train, I noticed that the star 29Cap was egressing from being occulted by the Moon. So I combined 8 frames into an animation showing the motion of the Moon through the stars.

Please read on to see the animation and to read more about the image.

The animation below consists of 8 frames taken over a period of about 4 minutes. The exposure times were 1.5 s each at ISO400, and the frames are aligned on the Moon.

It’s interesting to see 29Cap come out from behind the Moon, and also to see Jupiter’s relative motion compared to the Moon.

Please click the image to download the 1.1mb animation.

29Cap egressing from behind the Moon. Click for animation.

29Cap egressing from behind the Moon. Click for animation.

Did you see it this morning? I’d love to hear from you if you saw the conjunction this morning, and/or took any photos of it.

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