As twilight fell the planets came out to shine. Just a few minute walk from home, past St John's Church in Red Row I took this picture looking towards the northwestern horizon. The brightest spot in the picture is Venus. Just above and to the right is Mercury (about to be eclipsed by a bird). Jupiter is at the top left of the picture.
I wrote about this particular dance of the planets in an earlier post. The nearest planet to Earth in this picture is Mercury, sitting just on the farside of the Sun 1.18AU (177 million km) away. Beyond Mercury is our evil twin Venus - 1.65AU (247 million km) away. Jupiter is way beyond both of those planets - about 6.06AU (765 million km). And they all look so cosy together as we see them along nearly the same line of sight.
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Dr Adrian Jannetta. Amateur astronomer, maths teacher and science enthusiast.