Four planets dance before dawn

2011 conjunction of four planets

The planets Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Mars are currently performing a beautiful dance in the morning sky just before sunrise. From late April until late May, these four planets will appear very close together. (Photo taken by Bill Collison on 13th May 2011, Creative Commons license, brightened and labelled by me.)

On 30th April, Stephen Mudge took this lovely photo of the Moon alongside the planets:

2011 conjunction of four planets with Moon

He has very kindly allowed me to include a copy of his copyrighted photo here for personal non-commercial purposes (permission granted via FlickrMail), and I’ve brightened it and labelled the planets.

This diagram of the Solar System shows how the planets lined up on 8th May (generated by NASA’s JPL Solar System Simulator, used under NASA’s JPL Image Use Policy):

2011 conjunction of four planets (Solar System simulation)

I used Stellarium to generate this time-lapse simulation of the planets from 1st April to 15th June, as seen from Earth, with the horizon removed.  Please watch the video fullscreen in 720p HD.

 

I also used NASA’s JPL Solar System Simulator to generate this time-lapse diagram of the Solar System for the same range of dates.  Please watch the video fullscreen at 480p quality.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s