On evening of May 24, 2013, the planets Jupiter, Venus and Mercury were visible in the last glow of twilight. This grouping was a precursor to a unusual alignment occurring on the evening of May 26 when the three planets appear within 3 degrees of each other (apparent size of a US quarter coin held at arm's length).

This time lapse animation (1 frame every 2 seconds with a Nikon D300 and 18-200 zoom) covers about 20 minutes of real time and speeded up by a factor of 45 times. It shows the three planets as they set in the northwest. The observatories in the foreground belong to astrophotographer Jack Newton of Portal, Arizona. The mountains in the background are the Chiricahuas.

For more on the Triple Planetary Alignment, see:

For photos of the Triple Planetary Alignment, see:


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