Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction 2020
So, I was disappointed with my previous location because most of the sky was blocked by huge redwoods. Here, we have plenty of sky, but not enough darkness. The air is also not as clean as in the mountains so transparency has not been the best. I think this is a Bortle 8/9 zone and there are tons of ambient lights around at night. We rented an apartment so the whole situation has kept me away from the stars. Fortunately, the planets don’t need much darkness and since it has been advertised in the media, I could not miss the chance to check this amazing conjunction of the two gas giants: Jupiter with its Galilean Moons and Saturn with its rings.
My apartment’s entrance faces the southwest so I have followed these two for a while. The days and nights here in the San Joaquin Valley, seem to have few cloud activity so it was a good setting to enjoy this celestial show. On the 20th, they were so close that I took the scope out and gave them a try. Quite a view: Jupiter was exhibiting all its four Galilean moons and because of a background star, it appeared like there were five. We enjoyed the show for a while, try some pictures with the phone and called it a day. Today, on the 21st, I wanted to spot the couple still in daylight so I could take a better picture with my phone. I just shot at the eyepiece without any adjustments. The problem with the moon and the planets is that they are so bright, that the picture at the home looks overexposed. I am not much into Astrophotography so I try my best, but not with much effort.
Merry Christmas to all,
Edited by: Jennifer Carvajal (editor in chief).