Following the succesful photo safari trip to Windermere on Monday night, last night Stella and I headed to the coast, to the village of Arnside, to get some more images of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter gathered together in the sky. And after taking the last image, standing there at the car, taking one last look at the Moon and planets shining over the bay, I thought “That’s It, the Conjunction is over.” Venus and Jupiter are now far apart, and the Moon is now drifting away from them too, moving out of a wide angle photo’s field of view, and I’m not going to be able to see the sunset sky for the next two evenings anyway because of work, so that’s it for me, no more trips out of town to take photos, I’ll just keep an eye on things from the Castle, or my own yard.
Last night was FANTASTIC, though. Arnside is on the coast, faces west, so looks out across water (obviously, duh!) which means lots of opportunities for a wide horizon, glorious sunset colours, and great photography. It’s also got a very famous (locally) fish and chip shop, so last night Stella and I headed there to get some photographs and some chips too!
As I was setting up my telescope and camera it wasn’t a huge surprise to see another photographer down on the sands, and another walking towards us with his gear too; Arnside is a local photographers’ “mecca”, famous for its glorious sunsets and beautiful colours, but as far as I could tell my fellow photographers were both focussed firmly on the water and the horizon, ignoring – or unaware – of the celestial show taking place above the bay. One wandered over to have a look at the Moon through my telescope, and was impressed, but wven after I explained what the “Bright lights” in the sky were he didn’t swing his very fancy-looking DSLR towards them, so his loss!
As the sky began to darken – we got there soon after local sunset – the Moon was clearly visible, high in the west, and Venus was glinting away quite happily, too…
Tucking into our bags of chips, (with batter bits, mmmm!), Stella and I just enjoyed watching the colours around us get richer and more striking, reflecting off the low waters of the bay. Venus soon was uch brighter, and the Moon looked stunning through my telescope. I kept clicking away, trying different exposures, quite happy with the results. We were soon joined by a lovely couple from Edinburgh who had some interest in astronomy and the night sky, and they loved their views of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter through my ‘scope. They said before leaving that their impromptu skygazing sesion had been the highlight of their holiday!
But I wasn’t there to do Outreach – not primarily, anyway – I was there to take photos, and for a good two hours I clicked away, securing, I think, some rather beautiful pictures. See what you think – and if you like them, let me know!
A pretty good evening’s work there, I think!
So, yes, I reckon that’s just about it. I’ve really enjoyed following and photographing this conjunction, depsite missing the closest approach because of the godawful weather that descended upon this part of the world at that time, and it’s left me with some very happy memories and some pretty good pictures, too!
Well, the next “sky event” I’ll try to photograph is the transit of Veus, early on the morning of June 6th, even though we’ll only see the last part of that transit. The next big photo project will be capturing images of displays of NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS, which start appearing at the beginning of June too. Now I have a good camera I’m really, really looking forward to taking some lovely pictures of NLC from up at Kendal Castle and elsewhere. And you’ll be able to find those on here when/if I take them.
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