click above to sign up

Dalriada n:
Kingdom of the Scots,
home of the residents

Venus meets the Pleiades

I had a go at Venus as it passed fairly near the Pleiades from April 6th to April 12th. Check out my images below, and try to ignore various artefacts. These were taken with a DSLR camera mounted piggy-back style on my SkyWatcher telescope and using its equatorial mount to track the stars as the earth spins under them.

Then I can use the telrad finder scope (and a regular eyepiece if I want) to centre the camera’s field of view, which is quite difficult using the camera viewfinder only with available light at night.

On 6th April Venus was further away from Pleiades (6.5°) than on the 12th so I used a wider angle lens, my 50mm f1.8 ‘nifty fifty’. By April 12th Venus was a bit nearer to Pleiades (2.75°) so I could zoom in a bit, using my Tamron 70-300 lens at about 100mm. I used 30 second exposures both times, as advised by my Sky at Night magazine.

Venus appears much brighter than the Pleiades of course, but then they are 25 million times further away! So the nearer planet outshines the further star cluster.

All from our back garden in Glasgow again, but my fancy light pollution ‘clip filter’ helps quite a bit I think.