Venus and Jupiter Meet

The two brightest planets paired up in the morning twilight.

Dickinson - Venus-Jupiter

SkyNews editor Terence Dickinson captured this view of the planetary pairing from his home in Yarker, Ontario. (Venus is on the left, Jupiter the right.) He notes, “the haze may be lingering smoke from the Northwest Territories forest fires.” He used a 24mm lens for this shot.

On the morning of August 18, Venus and Jupiter had their closest encounter in 14 years. At mid-conjunction they were only 12 arc minutes apart, however, by the time the duo rose in North America, the planets had drifted away from each other slightly. Even so, they were separated by less than the width of a full Moon. The pair will remain near neighbours for the next week or so. (See This Week’s Sky for details.)

Seronik-Venus and Jupiter

On the West Coast, SkyNews website editor Gary Seronik imaged the conjunction from Victoria, British Columbia. He used a 200mm (equivalent) lens for this close-up view.

Dyer - Venus & Jupiter Conjunction Closeup

SkyNews associate editor Alan Dyer provided the prairie perspective. This shot was taken from his Alberta home and is a single, 2-second exposure at f/2 and ISO 400 with a 135mm lens.

Irvine - Venus-Jupiter

Steve Irvine captured this view from just north of Owen Sound, Ontario, with Georgian Bay in the foreground. He reports, “At 5:20 a.m. the eastern sky was cloudy, but gradually clearing, and by 5:40 we could see the conjunction.” He used a 80mm lens set to f/5.6, at ISO 200.

Salhenegger-Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Using a Canon PowerShot SX50 camera, Gerhard Salhenegger was able to capture the scene from Gold Lake, north of Buckhorn and Peterborough, Ontario.

Categories: Gallery, Moon and Planets
5 comments on “Venus and Jupiter Meet
  1. Great to see these images from around the country.

  2. David A. Rodger says:

    Did anyone actually see these two planets in a “night” sky? I know I didn’t.

    I saw the pair low in the east northeast in a rapidly brightening sky. Buildings blocked the space between the planets and the horizon, but I had the sense that the sun had already risen when I saw them. Venus can be seen in full daylight, of course.

    I used my Starry Night program to reverse the planets in time until they were against a dark sky. At that point they were practically on the horizon.

    The beautiful photos above all seem to be against a twilight sky, and not a “pre-dawn sky.”

    Or am I being too picky?


  3. David A. Rodger says:

    With respect to my comments on the condition of the sky when the planets Venus and Jupiter were very close this morning, I think the issue is one of definition.

    Dawn and sunrise are not the same thing. Dawn, according to my dictionary, is the first sign of light in the morning sky. So most of us would have seen the two planets in a dawn or twilight sky, not a pre-dawn, night sky. Indeed, the photos in the story all show dawn colours and brightness.


  4. Cliff Rancourt says:

    Astronomical twilight ended at 4:35 on the morning of August 18th at my location (Elliot Lake, On). Both planets rose at 5:00. The moon was bright in the ESE, as I recall, but there was no degradation of the view except for the often present banded low clouds on our eastern horizon. I spotted both objects 10 or 15 minutes after their rising, and confirmed their relative brightness and separation. Having been away from oberving for some years, I had expected possible difficulty in separating objects one third of a degree apart. No problem, as everyone reading this no doubt knows. A great moment to add to my diary collection.

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