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Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:02 pm
by trynda1701
Hopefully, people will get a chance to see this upcoming conjunction, closest approach being on the 21st.

I had a chance view yesterday of Venus and Mars, after it had been clear at 17:10 and then clouded up again by 17:30. So I had thought that's that and went and had dinner.

But afterwards, I came upstairs and had a peek out the bedroom window at 18:10, and a gap had opened up just at the right altitude to see Venus with the naked eye. Grabbed my 10x50's, and spotted Mars up and slightly east of Venus, and spotted Mars with the naked eye in the twilight by 18:15. By 18:20, the gap closed!

But tonight, just about the same time, the cloud was a bit less intrusive, and spotted the thin crescent Moon with earthshine at 18:10, to the lower right of Venus and Mars. The grouping was about 15 degrees altitude, with New Moon occurring on the 18th. A very nice sight indeed, with Venus being mag -3.8, outshining dimmer Mars at mag +1.2 according to Stellarium. Venus had it's usual creamy white brilliance, and Mars appearing a faint orange at this magnitude in the twilight.

Followed the trio until 19:10, when the Moon disappeared behind the houses behind ours to the west. As it got darker, the earthshine showed up a faint trace of the unlit maria, with Oceanus Procellarum the most prominent.

It will probably be cloudy when Venus and Mars are closest in a day or so, but you know what? Glad I got to see this grouping. As I've said before, I'll take these chance observations with binoculars when I get the chance. And I got to see Venus with Mercury a few weeks ago, so I'm two for two!

Love to try and see Venus with Uranus, and then Mars with Uranus at the start of March, but that's probably asking for too much!

Mark

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:42 pm
by mike a feist
Saturday 21st February: Located the Crescent Moon at 1130 using 10x50ar monoculat then 60mm spotting scope.....then located Venus at 1135.These two bodies were so far separated that did not fit the fov in either. No sign of the much fainter Mars...hardly surprising, yet. Will try again after sunset if the clouds do not fill the sky before then. Venus followed for a hour. regards maf

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:37 pm
by mike a feist
21st February between 1800-1830: Succeeded in seeing Venus & Mars within the same fov of various scopes - (10x50, IS60 and 100mm Field Scope) -and Crescent Moon well above. regards maf

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:01 am
by nigeljoslin
Thanks for this tip off, Trynda....I too enjoyed the spectacle yesterday evening at about 6.30 p.m., seeing both planets in the same field of view of my 9x63 binoculars. It was a very nice contrast, the white glare of venus and the red hue of Mars.

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:29 pm
by David Frydman
2015 February 23, 1814 UTC transparent sky with some small clouds.
Sunset was about 1728 UTC.

Venus bright unaided eyes.
With 8.5×44 binocular Mars was easily seen to the lower right of Venus less than 1° away.
With distance glasses easily saw Mars.

With 20×50 Kowa spotting scope, if the field is 2.6°, which I will check later, then Mars and Venus are separated by 45 arc minutes.

This is the first evening free of cloud when I've been able to view this lovely event.
The contrast in colours between a brilliant white Venus and in comparison a reddish Mars was nice to witness.

Regards, David

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:35 pm
by trynda1701
nigeljoslin wrote:Thanks for this tip off, Trynda....
You're welcome, Sir! 8)

As expected, I didn't get to see the closest conjunction. Last night however, Tuesday 24th, at 18:10 again, there was a brief clear spell with Venus and Mars both seen for about two minutes in my 8x30 Halina binoculars. Mars now south and west of Venus. Didn't get a chance to spot Mars with the naked eye.

Ten minutes later, it was teeming down with rain and the wind was picking up!

Mark

Re: Venus and Mars conjunction at sunset

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:18 pm
by David Frydman
2015 March 2, 1850 UTC.

With 8.5×44 binocular I estimated the distance from Venus to Mars as 3.75°.
Still a nice view, but it was hazy.

Regards, David