Planetary Conjunction Shuts Down the Sydney Harbour Bridge in May 2011

On May 13th 2011, the closest alignment of the conjunction of Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter got lots of media attention. I was even interviewed for the local paper! But noone expected the beautiful alignment of planets in the sky on that Friday morning to close down the Harbour Bridge for over 2 hours! But that’s what happened!

Planetary Conjunction Closes the Harbour Bridge

Planetary Conjunction Closes the Harbour Bridge

Ok maybe the conjunction wasn’t the cause, maybe it was the protester on the Sydney Harbour Bridge that morning, but I like to think that they shut down the bridge to give the busy people of Sydney a chance to look up at the stunning scene in the dawn sky over Sydney 🙂

Trail of the Planetary Conjunction

Trail of the Planetary Conjunction

I lugged my camera and tripod on the train to work on that Friday morning and set myself up at Observatory Hill, next to the Sydney Observatory who were having an event that morning to celebrate the conjunction and get the public along. I found it was a popular spot, with a couple of news vans and the Channel 9 morning weather man, Steve Jacobs, was also doing a live cross for the conjunction – and as it turns out, also about the bridge being closed!

News Vans with Conjunction through the Trees

News Vans with Conjunction through the Trees

Steve Jacobs Channel 9 Morning Weather Presenter with Conjunction

Steve Jacobs Channel 9 Morning Weather Presenter with Conjunction

Gazebo on Observatory Hill with a Channel 9 Camera Man and the Conjunction

Gazebo on Observatory Hill with a Channel 9 Camera Man and the Conjunction

A few clouds floated over the north and started showing some colour, but there weren’t enough of them, or in the right spot, to add drama to the scene near the conjunction.

The Bridge, the Rocks and the Conjunction

The Bridge, the Rocks and the Conjunction

The Conjunction of the Planets over Sydney

The Conjunction of the Planets over Sydney

An image from early in the morning

An image from early in the morning

The colours of the sunrise were lovely though, even without the clouds. It was a beautiful morning to be out and about.

Bridge Silhouette

Bridge Silhouette

Bridge and Canon in desaturated colour

Bridge and Canon in desaturated colour

As the sky got too bright to see the planets, I headed off on the walk to work. The last couple of shots are of the observatory surrounds and the crowds of people attending the Sydney Observatory event. The clouds to the south and west show how lucky we were.

Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory

Crowds outside viewing the conjunction

Crowds outside viewing the conjunction

When I saw all the cars stopped from going over the bridge, and even the trains, I was lucky to have made it across the bridge at all. Fortunately they hadn’t shut down the bridge when I crossed at 5am. Another 20 minutes and I would’ve been stuck on the train and not have been able to photograph the conjunction at all!

Thanks for looking.

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