Yesterday I took a couple of quick photos with my phone of the after-sunset display of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and Mars lined up across the sky. Tonight I got out the good cameras.
At first in the twilight Saturn was hard to find, but the rest were bright.
As it got darker, Saturn popped out and I started playing with exposures and the limited zoom options available.
I was using the “light bucket” wide angle lens that I love so. With settings of 11mm to 16mm, it’s more of a “wide angle” and “really, really wide angle” lens.
Fortunately, that flaky street light at the bottom was having an “off” night, as it were. In addition, the neighborhood owls were out, calling back and forth. Delightful!
This is probably the best representation of what it looked like to the naked eye. It was starting to get a bit hazy. If you happened to see the Sunday Night Football game with the Rams from Inglewood (about 30 miles just to the left of this view, on the other side of the Santa Monica Mountains and down by LAX in the Los Angeles Basin) you would have noticed the fog that was rolling in off the coast. We’re getting it here later, but it takes a couple hours to build up and spill over the mountains into the valley.
Switching to the 300mm telephoto lens we have the usual image of the crescent moon (with a little bit of detail on the illuminated side) and Venus.
Crank up the exposure and get a little Earthshine.
And just for giggles, I took a 300mm zoom picture of Jupiter. (Click to blow it up to full sized!) It’s got company – the four dots in a row, two on each side, are:
Callisto (outside left), Io (inside left), Jupiter (center), Europa (inside right), and Ganymede (outside right). What Galileo wouldn’t have given for this basic, simple camera and telephoto lens!