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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-28-2016 - Mars, Venus & Saturn

The red planet Mars swings to perihelion -- its closest point to the sun in its orbit -- on October 29, 2016. It’ll only be 1.38 astronomical units (AU) away from the sun on this date. One astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun, or about 93 million miles (150 million km). 

The Mars perihelion is a once-in-two-Earth-years event. Mars came to perihelion last on December 12, 2014. It’ll be at perihelion next on September 16, 2018.

Tonight I was able to get a really good shot of Mars in a clear south-southwestern sky, along with Saturn and Jupiter moving closer toward their conjunction at sundown on Sunday, October 30th. 

I took the photos just after sunset at a baseball field just outside of Chester city limits as a background. In the first shot I got all three planets - as well as a nice shot of a plane's contrail in the dusk. The other two photos include a single photo of Mars and a pretty shot of both Saturn and Venus through the fence behind home plate. 

I hope y'all enjoyed them. Cloud cover permitting, I plan to get a shot of both Saturn and Venus at their conjunction on Sunday night. 

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