June 2015 Jupiter-Venus Conjunction

Planetary conjunctions are a pretty cool sight, and easy to photograph, often without a telescope. 

There are frequently conjunction with the moon and one planet, but the moon and two planets, or two bright planets is even more special. June 20th had a triple conjunction of the moon, Jupiter, and Venus. June 30th will have a very close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter – just 1/3° apart. That means even with a longer focal length telescope, both planets will be able to fit into the field of view.

Moon Jupiter Venus Triple Conjunction

The June 20, 2015 Moon, Jupiter, Venus conjunction. Taken with a 70mm lens, 1/6th second exposure.

Photographing Wide Field Conjunctions

Photographing a moon and planet conjunction generally calls for a wide field lens, not a telescope. The photo above was taken with a 70mm lens on a DSLR, but I’ve also taken photos with simple point and shoot cameras like the one below. Don’t worry about a tracking mount – a tripod is a good idea, but even hand holding a cell phone camera will do in a pinch!

Red Moon

A Lunar Eclipse with Saturn to the left, and the bright star Regulus above from February 20, 2008. Taken with a Canon A710 camera on a tripod.

Photographing Close Conjunctions

Photographing a close planetary conjunction, or a close Lunar conjunction is very much like photographing a single planet. Because Jupiter and Venus are so bright, you won’t even need a tracking mount, because a short exposure will do the job. See How to Photograph the Gas Giants article for tips on how to do it.

Jupiter Venus Conjunction Map

 

Get a photo of a conjunction? Share a link in the comments, or let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

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