Planetary Traffic Jam (Part 3): June 2002

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3 June 2002: Day 1 of Venus and Jupiter Conjunction on Queen's Golden Jubilee...

Jubilee Conjunction on 3 June 2002

Although I am not a great fan of the royal family, I guess that the coming together of the brightest (Venus) and greatest (Jupiter) planet is a fitting tribute to the occasion of the Queen's Golden Jubilee. This picture is taken from the quaint Welsh border town of Hay - on - Wye, and the bunting could be as much to do with the Hay Festival that was running as the Jubilee.

The planets, above the HSBC bank, appear of similar brightness, though in reality Venus, the upper of the two, was considerably brighter than Jupiter, but was shining through cloud. A similar picture taken tomorrow shows the movement of Venus relative to Jupiter in the space of a day.

3 May 2002, 22:55BST (21:55UT). Minolta Dimage 7, 12.1mm, 2/3s @ f/3.5, ISO400

4 June 2002: Day 2 of the Jubilee Conjunction

Jubilee Conjunction on 4 June 2002

A picture taken from near to yesterday's one, though about half an hour earlier. The planets are therefore higher up in a lighter, though beautifully clear, sky. The movement of Venus (the upper planet) relative to Jupiter in the course of a day, just over 1 degree, is apparent when you compare the two.

The planets again appear of similar brightness, though this time it is due to the reduction in picture size to suit the Internet - in the original, Venus is clearly the brighter.

4 May 2002, 22:19BST (21:19UT). Minolta Dimage 7, 15.1mm, 1/6s @ f/3.5, ISO100

I took advantage of the clear sky to capture 2 man-made celestial objects too...


The picture of the 4th June represents the last event I captured in the Dance of the Planets. The final event of the Moon passing Jupiter and Venus a few days later was masked by cloud so I did not see it. The planets have now dispersed and continue on their separate ways, though Venus will continue to put on a showing during the summer and I will endeavour to keep track of its changing appearance.

I hope you have enjoyed my pictorial record of this unique event, the likes of which we will not see again until July 2060. I certainly enjoyed making it, but am now looking forward to a well-earned rest from taking, preparing and uploading pictures on such a frequent basis!

All the above pictures are taken from Hay - on -Wye, Powys.

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