Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cresent Moon-Venus-Mars-Saturn Conjunction

Location: Drummondville, QC

Date Time: 12 August, 2010 from 2035-2050 local time

Weather: 25 Degrees Celsius, partly cloudy, almost no wind, humid.

Equipment: Kodak C190 EasyShare Digital Camera with tripod.

Report: In the pictures, Venus is the bright star with Mars above to the left and Saturn above to the right.

By the time Mars and Saturn became visible, the crescent Moon had almost set behind a farm house and some trees. This left an approximately 15 minute window to get a picture of this rare conjunction. When you consider that the weather has to cooperate, this truly was a rare viewing.

During this session at about 2045 hrs a shooting star/fire ball went overhead just out of the view of this conjunction. It sparkled and a light whooshing and crackling sound could be heard. The line it made across the sky could be traced straight to the constellation Perseus which would make this a part of the Persid Meteor shower that is now taking place.


  1. David, I can understand why the shadow eclipsing the moon makes it a crescent, but I sometimes see the shadow curving outwards. How does this happen?

  2. Actually, it is tricky to understand just by looking at the Moon. With the Earth spinning so fast and the Moon not spinning but orbiting the Earth in cycles of 28 days, it is a lot to wrap the mind around. It depends on how the Moon and Earth are facing the sun, at a given time, and what your vantage point is.

    Here is a website that offers a good diagram...

    This is a great question because it shows how complicated the orbits of celestial objects can be when they are observed from the ground.



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