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Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus | by Michael Seeley
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Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus

"Two arcs," or, "Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and the Milky Way" (literal, working title)

 

The "August guide to the bright planets" (Earthsky.org; Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd) states that "[i]n August 2018, four planets arc across the evening sky. From west to east as night falls, these bright worlds are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars." Earlier this week, friend Mark Poole posted a cool photo showing the planets, and that was what I set out to capture Friday night after sunset. The forecast called for some clouds, but as dusk progressed, it became clear (literally) that I would be able to get more than just the arc of the planets. The arc of the Milky Way was entirely possible.

 

So, this was the scene from 9:45 to 9:49 pm at the Bull Creek Wildlife Management area, approximately 45-minutes southwest of where I live.

 

This post also comes with a confession: this is my first Milky Way panorama built from multiple shots, nine of them, to be exact. I'm not sure why nine was what I ended up with, but it was necessary, as this frame encompasses a horizontal field of view of over 180-degrees. The leftmost tail of the Milky Way is roughly pointing ENE, while Venus (the bright object to the far right, hiding in the light on the horizon and shining through some trees) is nearly due West of my location.

 

Mars is, of course, front-and-center, just above the road and below the Milky Way. Saturn is in the cloud, and then to the right of the cloud (but up and to the left of Venus) is Jupiter.

 

Also, you can see faint green streaks of light in the foreground (mainly to the left). Those are fireflies, who were all very active (along with the mosquitos).

 

Details: 9 frames all shot at ISO2500, 25seconds and f2.8 shot with a Canon 5D4 and a 16-35mm L-series lens. The images were compiled into a photomerge/panorama in Photoshop, and the final edits were done in Adobe's Lightroom.

 

 

(Photo: Michael Seeley aka me)

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Taken on August 3, 2018