Backyard astronomy: Venus & the Moon

I went for another night-time walk today and was rewarded by a wonderful conjunction of Venus and the Moon.

Of course, upon leaving the house and seeing how beautiful it was nothing would do but to haul out the digital camera, tripod, and set up on a nearby street to try to capture the scene. Here’s one of my better attempts:

venus moon conjunction

That’s with the shutter open for about 3 seconds – I’d try longer but my current camera, a Sony DSC-W1, lacks very much in the way of manual controls. By the way, for more details on the conjunction, check out Sky & Telescope (scroll down on that page).

After I took the equipment back in, I rebooted the walk, which was great. Cassiopeia, the big ‘W’ in the sky, was clear and bright, but there was too much ambient light to see the Milky Way.

After I got home however, I called Teresa out into the front lawn, and we were rewarded with the sight of no fewer than 5 satellites whizzing by over our heads. Awesome.