Mars and Saturn at dusk

posted: 1948 days ago, on Saturday, 2012 Aug 11 at 10:18
tags: astronomy, astrophotography, Southern Sky Highlights 2012, zodiacal light, Mars, Saturn, Kos Coronaios.

The charming planet Saturn, and the Red Planet (where Curiosity is doing its thing) are visible soon after sunset high up in the west. The two planets form a noticeable triangle with Spica (alpha Virginis).

In the accompanying photograph, by Kos Coronaios, the triangle is near the top of the frame. The right-most object is Saturn, with Mars lowest down.

Also beautifully shown is the zodiacal light, a triangle of soft light centred more or less on where the Sun is (below the horizon) and narrowing upwards towards the planetary pair. This soft glow, aligned with the ecliptic, is the light scattered off dust within our solar system.

Compare this image with the one taken on 2012 August 18; note the position of Mars.

Find out more: Southern Sky Highlights for 2012

nothing more to see. please move along.