May 29, 2002
The photo above, taken on May 15, shows the alignment of Jupiter, the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Jupiter is to the upper left of the Moon, and the two stars of similar brightness above Jupiter are Castor (left-most) and Pollux, in the constellation Gemini (the Twins). The brilliant Venus is to the lower right of the Moon, and the ruddy Mars is below Venus. Although the dance of the planets is in its final act now, early next week at dusk, Venus and Jupiter will be provocatively close to one another in the western sky. They'll be separated by less than the width of a finger held at arm's length. For this photo, Fuji Print Film 400 was used with a Canon AE1 and Canon 24mm, at f1.4 for 20-25 seconds (tripod and cable release). The diagonal streak is a jet contrail.