Earlier this month, RASC members across Canada looked up and watched Venus as it crossed the Pleiades over the course of a few nights.
RASC Robotic Telescope team member Dan Meek sent this photo, a composite of three images taken over three nights. He captured the image using the RASC Robotic Telescope.
“When I first decided to attempt to image the Venus / M45 conjunction with the RASC Robotic Telescope, I had no idea if I could do it or at least if I could do it any justice,” he wrote.
“For about a week or 10 days leading up to April 1, the sky conditions were bad and not suitable for imaging,” he said. “But then just three days before the conjunction, the skies cleared up. I got the three nights of imaging in and then the very next day after the conjunction (Saturday) the skies fell apart again. I had wanted to also get one or two more nights as Venus and M45 parted ways, but that was not to be. But I’m happy with what we got.”
RASC member Michael Watson also took images of Venus as it passed through the Pleiades this month.
“In this view, composed of 7 stacked identical exposures of 2.5 seconds each, brilliant Venus is at the right side, and the stars of the Pleiades are strewn across the frame to the left,” he wrote.
“Venus is always the most brilliant planet in the sky, and the third brightest celestial object (as seen from Earth) after the Sun and Moon,” he noted.
“The star cluster M45 (commonly known as the Pleiades or the “Seven Sisters”) is the best known star cluster in the sky, and is easily visible to the unaided eye, even from light polluted cities (if the sky is very clear).”
Watson also produced a labelled version of his photo, with star patterns, star names and brightnesses.
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