Bird, wildlife, and landscape photography by Jon Rista
Moon – Mars Conjunction
A couple weeks ago, we had a celestial event. Two, actually, a couple days apart. The first, captured here, was the conjunction of the moon and Mars. At it’s closest approach, Mars was less than 19 arcminutes from the moon, which is VERY close. The image above was a little before that (the moon was not in a good position for imaging from my back yard).
A couple days after this event, the moon and Saturn had a conjunction. The moon passed within 75 arcminutes of Saturn, which is a little over one degree (about two and one quarter moon diameters, as the moon is about half a degree or 30 arc minutes in size.) Conjunctions are not all that rare, however a very close conjunction, such as with the moon and mars being less than 19 arcminutes apart, is a fairly close event.
Rarer events are occulations, where the moon occludes a planetary or stellar body. A couple times this year, in certain parts of the world, the moon occluded Saturn. The planet slipped behind the moon on one side, and reemerged on the other. Amazing events, something I have yet to observe myself.