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The Great Spring Triangle

Well, I say great. It probably would have been great – beyond great! – if I’d been looking at Venus, Jupiter and Mercury forming their sunset triangle in a perfectly clear sky, as it had been the previous night, but last night my luck broke and I had to grab a quick view of the triple planetary conjunction before bands of cloud reared up from beyond the north western horizon, devouring the planetary parade.

But at least I saw it! Many people didn’t because their weather was even worse than mine, so no complaints, and I managed to get a few photos too, so no complaints at all! 🙂

So, I hiked up the hill to the castle just after nine, with my rucksack full of cameras, tripods, binocs and more, and I was all ready for a good, quiet night’s planet viewing, and photography – only to have the usually blissful silence of the hilltop ruined by a group of yobs who were clambering all over the castle ruins, smashing at the rocks and stones and banging on the metal framework. As soon as they saw me they started hurling abuse at me too, which I was less bothered about to be honest than the damage I worried they were doing to the castle, which I’m very fond of as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader. I took this for so long, then phoned in my concerns to the police. I have to say the operator seemed less than concerned, but she did eventually take my number, and told me she’d arrange for someone to be there “soon”.

Eventually the castle cretins got tired of smashing up rocks, and grew bored of hurling abuse at me, and left, heading back down into town still shouting and howling like demented whatevers. When I left the castle an hour later – planets viewed, photos taken – no-one from the police had shown up. Looks like possible criminal damage to a historic monument isn’t that big a deal. That’s a great shame.

Anyway… back to the planets! Here are some of the photos I took…

May 26th a

That pic shows the planetary triangle clearly. That’s Jupiter on the left, Venus on the right, Mercury at the top. Another view, enhanced to bring out the planets’ brightnesses…

May 26th c

And finally, a view of the planets as cloud devoured them from beyond the horizon. I was able to follow them for about a minute more after this photo was taken, but that was it…

May 26th b

You might have to click on the image to enlarge it if you want to see the planets clearly.

…and that might be It. Tonight the weather here in Cumbria is rubbish – the sky is totally overcast, and I’ve about as much chance of seeing the planets tonight as I have of walking on Mars at the weekend. But at least I managed to see the Great Spring Triangle last night. 🙂

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3 Responses

  1. Nice work – they have been easier to see than to photograph. I had problems with the sky being so bright in twilight.
    http://bkellysky.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/clouds-part-to-reveal-the-planetary-pile-up/
    I hope to do better tonight!
    I did see Venus and Mercury, but not Jupiter, about three hours before sunset in my 200mm dobsonian reflecting telescope. Very tiny!

  2. […] 26. Mai aus Hawaii, Kalifornien, Nevada, Arizona (mehr und mehr), Mexiko, Teneriffa, dem UK (mehr, mehr, mehr, mehr und mehr), Polen, Israel und Australien (mehr und mehr), vom 25. Mai aus Kalifornien […]

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