Better images of last night’s conjunction, now with annotations!

This is about half an hour before the absolute closest point, but the clouds rolled in and I couldn’t get the shot. Still cool.

Everything except the last photo is a real image taken through a telescope, you can clearly see Jupiter and Saturn (including the rings!), and if you look carefully you can see all four Galilean Moons (those being Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto).

If you can’t see them, I’ve provided an annotated diagram and a shot from inside Stellarium showing where everything is. Saturn’s moons are much too dim to see with a small telescope like mine, so while they appear in the simulation you won’t see them on the photo. If you see any weird bright red/blue/green spots in the image, those are probably dead pixels on my camera’s sensors. It is nine years old, it is doing its best.

Contrary to what some people may have told you, at no point during this conjunction will Jupiter and Saturn appear to cross over each other. This is about as close as they get, which is closer than it’s been for over 600 years. If you want to get closer than this, you have to go back to 1226, or wait until 2080. Some of you may actually see that one! Wild. If you happen to be in the Southern hemisphere early in the morning of the Ides of March in 2080, try looking up!