Greetings and Salutations again fellow stargazers!
This morning I had to wake up a bit earlier than usual -- about 90 minutes before sunrise to be exact -- in order to set up the tripod and take some outstanding shots of all the inner planets of our solar system lined up beneath the beautiful Waning Crescent Moon, including a spectacular conjunction of Mercury and Mars low on the horizon. I needed to drive a ways to an unobstructed stretch along SC Highway 9 in order to get a clear shot of all three planets.
Venus, the third brightest celestial body in Earth's sky is closer to Luna, which ranks as the second brightest next to the sun. Beneath Venus is the 1st magnitude star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion and one of the few stars that can still be seen from Earth just before sunrise.
At the bottom close to the treetops on the eastern horizon are the two small planets Mercury and Mars are at conjunction. During conjunction, Mercury and Mars are only 0.06o apart -- roughly the equivalent of about 1/8th the moon’s visible diameter. Being closer to the sun, Mercury shows as brighter than the much further away Red Planet.
I managed to get a spectacular close-up of the two conjoined planets just above the treetops.
My final shot is of all the inner worlds (including a slightly foggy Earth beneath) and Luna just before the sunrise began to obstruct the planets from view.
Well folks, I hope that y'all enjoyed my photographs of the inner planets and our lovely Luna. Be sure to check out my other planetary photographs here and as always keep your eyes to the skies, y'all!