Venus and the Pleiades - IV
Conjunctions between Venus and the Pleiades (M45) star cluster at favorable elongations from the Sun are relatively rare astronomical events. The last one occurred in April 2004 and the next is in 2020 (source: More Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, Jean Meeus, 2002). The Pleiades is one of the most famous night sky asterisms and is also known as the Seven Sisters, Subaru and M45 (from the Messier Catalog of Deep Sky Objects).
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 close conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades (M45) on the evening of 2012 April 3 (local time) from Portal, AZ. A Canon Reble T2i (550D) and a Takahashi Epsilon 180 Hyperbolic Astrograph were used to capture the event (North is up). The exposure was 14 seconds at f/2.8 (ISO 800). Camera tracking was accomplished with a Astro-Physics 1200GTO 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.
- Conjunction: Venus and the Pleiades - IV
- Date/Time: 2012 Apr 04 at 03:30 UTC
- Location: Bifrost Astronomical Observatory, Portal, AZ
- Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
- Telescope: Takahashi Epsilon 180 Hyperbolic Astrograph
- Camera: Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) (modified with a Baader UV/IR filter)
- Field of View: 1.70° x 2.56° at 1.7 arc-sec/pixel (web version: 10.0 arc-sec/pixel)
- Exposure: 14s, f/2.8, ISO 800
- File Name: VenusM45-0106w.jpg
- Processing (Adobe Camera Raw): Curves
- Processing (Photoshop CS5): Curves, High Pass Filter
- Original Image Size: 3454 × 5179 pixels (17.9 MP); 11.5" x 17.3" @ 300 dpi
- Rights: Copyright 2012 by Fred Espenak. All Rights Reserved. See: Image Licensing.