Saturday, January 3, 2015

Two Planets, the Moon and a Comet

There's a lot to see in the evening sky right now. Here are a few shots that I took this evening with my DSLR camera.
As long as your weather is clear you can't miss the nearly full moon, but the other objects are a bit harder to catch.
Venus and Mercury are making a nice pairing in the western sky. Look for them as soon as it gets dark. Venus is higher and brighter and is quite easy to see. Mercury is lower and dimmer. You'll need to look for it before it sets for the night. They'll be getting closer together over the course of the next week. Take a look from night to night and you'll be able to see them pull together.
We've also got a comet in the evening sky right now too. Can you spot it in the photo above? Yeah, it doesn't leap out at you, but it is there.
This shot is cropped from the one above and Comet Lovejoy is the fuzzy spot in the oval. Even with a bright moon in the sky it isn't too hard to catch. Binoculars will help, but so will waiting a few nights. By Wednesday the comet will be a bit brighter and the glow of the moon will be out of the early evening sky. Look mid to later this week and it will be easier to find. You can get more info on Comet Lovejoy and a finder chart here.


  1. Hi Scott,
    I got pictures of Lovejoy on the 29th, before the moon got in the way.On Dec. 22nd, I was looking for comet Finlay. I got a quadrantid meteor instead. After some hunting with a small scope, I was able to pick out Finlay in my picture, just a little fainter that some 9th magnitude stars. I'm looking forward to this week.

  2. Very nice, John. I especially like your photo from Jan. 6th. I was on travel early this week and missed it and now we've got clouds & rain for the the next several days. I hope I get another shot at the comet.