Venus, Taurus and the Pleiades - III

Conjunctions between Venus and the Pleiades (M45) star cluster at favorable elongations from the Sun are relatively rare astronomical events. In April 2012, Venus and the naked-eye star cluster were again in close proximity for several days, and with Venus favorably placed in the evening sky just days after its Greatest Eastern Elongation from the Sun on March 26.

The image above shows the constellation constellation Taurus and the close conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades (M45) on the evening of 2012 April 3 (local time) from Portal, AZ. The V-shaped Hyades open star cluster containing the smoldering orange giant star Aldebaran appears to the left while the Pleiades and brilliant Venus are to the right. A Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 18-200 VR lens were used to capture the event (North is up). The exposure was 1 minute at f/8 (ISO 800). Camera tracking was accomplished with a Losmandy G-11 equatorial mount.

Check Planetary Conjunctions for more photos of this lovely event.

For an almanac of other interesting sky happenings for each year, see Calendar of Astronomical Events.

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