Planets at Dawn

Article header_simple

In the early morning hours of October the 26th, the planets Jupiter, Venus, and mars aligned toward the direction of the eastern horizon and produce a beautiful triple planet conjunction show.

Followed later before Sunrise, the planet Mercury will join the morning planetary alignment

The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
Here is a noted version of preview image:

The planets with respect to the background stars.
The planets with respect to the background stars.
The observation took place at Santa Susana pass, between the local two valleys. The weather condition didn’t prevent this night sky observation even though the valley been having cloudy nights during this month.

Orion constellation was at a good altitude above the southern horizon followed by Canis Major constellation.

Orion & Canis Major constellation.
Orion & Canis Major constellation.
The temperature was great, It was in the low 60s F or higher 50s F  (17~13 C degree)with light winds.

Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction
Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction

The planets conjunction over the hills
The planets conjunction over the hills
There were few shooting stars passed by. The most significant observed that morning were slicing the big dipper area coming from south to the Northern horizon. There was one caught on an image while photographing the conjunction of the three planets.

A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction (noted)
The shooting star is most likely from the Orionids meteor shower that is still active.

Orion was covered by passing clouds from time to time.

At this point of the night he Moon was reaching the western Horizon.

Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
4planet_oct2015-9
Orion and the star sirius with clouds
The Moon on the Western Horizon
The Moon on the Western Horizon
Another shot of the Triple conjunction
Another shot of the Triple conjunction with passing clouds

Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
The Pleiades were stunning as usual with Aldebaran following it. At this point of the night, Mercury was near rising, I had to take a couple more pictures of the triple conjunction and obseved the Moon set on the western horizon.

The Big Dipper was up high with it’s pattern of this time of the year and night.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper noted.
The Big Dipper noted.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
The Moon set over Simi Valley
The Moon set over Simi Valley

Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Finally, Mercury is in the same frame image as the other planets.

Planet Mercury with the other planets
Planet Mercury with the other planets
Here is the noted version below:

Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily

Jupiter Left, Venus Right
Jupiter Left, Venus Right
The show of the night ended with the arrival of the most relevant start to our life, the Sun.

Sunrise October 26th-2015
Sunrise October 26th-2015
Until next time…

October-26th-2015

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana pass

Los Angeles, CA.

-Ahmad

Vega

Encyclopedic

The star Vega is one of the brightest stars in the north hemisphere night sky. The majority of people live on the northern hemisphere, so the star became, and still poplar and part of human cutler and our history in observing the night sky. Another reason, Vega is present in the night sky for most of the year, and even when it is absence in winter, it is absence for a short period of time. Vega only sets for 7 hours for most of northern hemisphere observer in one month of winter, and present all night in most of the summer nights.

The star Vega brightness makes it a target for all things, from observer’s eyes, telescopes, new instruments wants to be tested, to stories.

It is the most photographed star after the sun, and carries many firsts in the scientific community and in history.

arabic vega-1

The Star Vega played a big rule in human lore and fiction, where almost in every culture, it has its own story. Some think of it as hope, other as gaudiness. Other cultures associated with it a love story where the star Altair is its companion in some of those stories.

Even in current day, it played for much science fiction literature as a stage for events. Many aliens in those fictions came from Vega, or many humans travel to Vega.

So it is normal to have this star as a standard for all stars, or any celestial object. It served as canvas for artist and knowledge seeker alike, and for that, it is worth some of our time.

A look of Vega in the night sky will tell the observer why this star is so popular. With its blue bright beauty against the dark background of the night sky, it is hard to miss, or to forget.

vega 2nd

earth vega prec_003

Lyra_002

vega sun comparison

vega rot_005

ring nebule lyra_002

vega radial_002

mag standerd 01s

Earth Wobble_006

 

-Ahmed

July’s 2014 evening sky.

Article header_simple

This month ecliptic path featured a good number of celestial alignments. On the evening of July the 5th, the nearly one week old moon with half of its face was illuminated (Phase of .57) near the Planet Mars, and the Star Spica, making a great view of triple celestial alignment, and on the evening of the 7th, the Moon was near the planet Saturn, with illumination of 76.7% (phase equal to .77).

Early next month, on the 3rd of August, The two planets Saturn and Mars, and the Moon will all be within less than two angular degrees and a half.

The asteroids had a close encounter too that will last for all month, and most of the year. More details can be found on this topic in this post: Asteroid Ceres & Vesta July viewing.

power lines-2

 

Away from the ecliptic, the summer triangle is shining brightly for most of the night, with Vega nearly over head. The view of the Milky Way is spectacular as always, not a good viewing target in a light polluted city such as Los Angeles, and however, in suburban areas such as Santa Clarita, or Castaic Lake, and away from the streets lights, you can see a hint of it.

A look at Polaris, and you would see easily its two companions, the constellation Cassiopeia, and asterism the big dipper on the west side of the North Star. (Asterism is a celestial alignment that is usually but not always part of a constellation). The constellation Cassiopeia can be a little disorienting to find at the beginning of the night, but easily recognizable after midnight at this time of the year.

power lines-1

 

The images were taken near south fork trail in Santa Clarita town, California. And it shows the big dipper pattern clearly, even in a slightly light polluted town. The pattern is on the right of the power lines.

 

July – 4th~10th – 2014

Santa Clarita, California.

-Ahmed