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Conjunctions of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon in 2012
In the first months of 2012, Venus and Jupiter started a chase, the planets were closer and closer each day until their maximum approach on March 13,2012. This produced several interesting conjunctions. In the first photo Jupiter is at the left, then the Moon between the trees and Venus is higher on the right. The Pleiades cluster M45 is on the right side of the photo. The whole view was fantastic.
Mercury joined the conjunction briefly on February, Mercury is not an easy catch as it is frequently too close to the Sun to be seen, on this evening Mercury was bright and visible just after sunset producing a straight line with Venus and Jupiter.
On March 13 Venus and Jupiter were separated by only 3 degrees hight in the sky after Sunset. A beautiful sight that was only going to get even better.
On March 25th the thin crescent Moon joined the conjunction, then the three brightest natural objects in the night sky were visible in a small region of the sky. The view was really fantastic and the Earthshine of the moon made the scene really special. This was very nice but the display wasn't over yet.
The next day: March 26th the Moon was separated only one degree from Venus, the thin Moon and the very bright Venus were a really beautiful view in the sky, almost magnetic.
And this is how it looked in the middle of the day. Finding venus was very easy as the moon helped as a reference. In the photo Venus can be seen in phase near 50%.
The conjunctions were beautiful but this is not over yet as Venus is slowly traveling towards the Pleiades (M45) this visit happens every 8 years when Venus reaches its northernmost declination. This year the Visit will take Venus just next to the Pleiades almost touching several of the cluster stars, this will probably be my next blog post!