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Astronomy
Astronomy

The Great Conjunction continues to progress. Jupiter and Saturn are now about 0º 40" apart. Tonight's landscape view also features Zodiacal Light which is seen as a triangle of light from the horizon up to about where the planets are. Zodiacal Light is defined as sunlight reflecting off dust grains that circle the sun in the inner solar system. After the sun sets, its rays point upward to reflect off the dust, creating the glow. The close-up view is a single shot from my DSLR through a 6" telescope. The planets are getting noticeably closer, and I may line up the close ups in a separate post. As always, Saturn is the upper planet and if you enlarge the image, you might be able to detect the Moon Titan just below the planet, and Jupiter is the lower planet complete with its four visible Moons.
Here is Thursday night's view of Jupiter and Saturn through my telescope. Because of the clouds, it was a bit challenging to get a good shot, but as it turns out, the rings of Saturn were more detailed. The two planets are now about 1/2º apart, headed for next Monday's Great Conjunction.
For those who missed it, here's what the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn looked like last night with the Moon nearby. Last night the two planets were 0º 34' apart in the southwest sky. They will merge in the Great Conjunction on Monday, December 21st.