The conjunctions in May were great for two reasons. First, they forced me to get outside and photograph the sky for the first time in a long time, and secondly, they also got a lot of media attention – especially leading up to the closest approach of the planets on the 13th May.
A reporter from the local Central Coast Express Advocate rang me in early May to ask about the upcoming close approach of the planets, and the interview featured in the paper along with my image of the Conjunction over the Sydney Opera House (the large planet images were added by them).
I explained to them that while conjunctions are quite common, a grouping of four planets in the sky like that is fairly rare. Having said that, I told them it didn’t actually ‘mean’ anything. It was rather annoying seeing interviews with ‘astrologers’ on the news predicting what it would mean to have the four planets close on the sky.
The media focused on the closest approach (closest together on the sky) on the 13th May, but I explained to them that the planets have been converging for a while and that the crescent Moon joins them at the beginning and end of May and will actually make the scene even more beautiful.
Despite the ‘astrology’ annoyances, the media attention was great for astronomy – we’re always keen to share our hobby with as many people as possible, and anything that gets people outside looking at the sky is great.