I am always fascinated by the night sky and the astronomical world out there. Always wondering what wonders they sky would present us with, what show will the stars put on for us mere mortals to look at. And ofcourse the myriads of the times I daydreamed looking at them and thinking about the world(s) beyond Earth. Hence my obsession in chasing the moon, stars, eclipses, and ay other astronomical phenomena.
Lucky for me, this month of June, we got to see a celestial event, put on by the planets in our solar system this time. What is is being called as a “Planetary Parade” by the astronomers, is a rare alignment of five of the nine planets from our solar system. Best of all, we could see them without using a telescopic lens.
PS: I joined three pictures to get this view as I only have a DSLR.
In this Planetary Parade, we could see the first five planets in the actual order that they are away from the Sun – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – with Moon joining the party. Although Mercury is the hardest to see considering it being very close to sun and is visible for only a short period of time and also the smallest planet. Naturally I couldn’t catch Mercury at all even though I tried a few times. The others I managed to capture them on my DSLR fairly well.
Here is how NASA’s picture looks like taken using a telescopic lens or something larger.
The last time this event happened was 18 years ago, in December 2004 when all planets (mercury to Pluto) were seen arranged from east to west in Earth’s sky in the same order as they are positioned from the Sun. That was indeed a very rare event which again will not happen until April 2333. However, our Planetary Parade this month is rare indeed where we are able to see five planets of the remaining eight. This kind of or any kind of Planetary Parade will not happen again until 2040.
I am pretty pleased with myself that I managed to capture four of the five on my DSLR. Definitely have to invest in a telescopic lens if I want to capture Mercury though.