This video shows photos of my mini, early morning outing to Tracy, CA to see a rare spectacular triangular conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and the thin crescent moon around dawn. It was a solo, last minute trip. I had planned to view the conjunction at home but thanks to the morning low clouds lingering, I had no choice but to do a great escape from the clouds and headed northeastward into the Central Valley. This was a rare conjunction so I was determined to go! I had left home around 4:30ish a.m. It was still dark. I tried to head to the nearest Central Valley city ASAP before sunrise. Thankfully, there was no traffic along the way. While around Livermore, I saw a heavy backup traffic on the westbound side while along I-580. Luckily it was still clear eastbound. Once on top of Altamont Pass, the fog and low clouds had finally cleared dramatically and right when I was headed downhill along the pass (where we would see the Central Valley horizon during the day), I saw the conjunction!! I tried to take pics while driving but it was scary so I just headed quickly to my final viewing point, which was along the Mountain House Pkwy, located around the western edge of Tracy, CA. I parked on the side and finally set up my camera and snapped away and then simply enjoyed the conjunction slowly rise higher and higher until the break of dawn. After satisfying my eyes, I headed in the car and updated my situation with mom so she won't worry lol. I chilled a bit in the car and waited then for the sunrise. After sunrise, I finally headed back home. It was a smooth drive all the way back home with no traffic. What an interesting morning I had indeed!
The three brightest objects in the night sky were set to create a spectacular cosmic triangle this early morning of Saturday, August 23, 2014. Weather permitting, early skywatchers were able to catch the celestial display. During the past couple weeks, observers have been treated to a twilight tango between Venus and Jupiter. They had even approached each other and had passed extremely close to each other on August 18. Venus and Jupiter were now starting to go their separate ways after their spectacular mid-August encounter. On Saturday (Aug 23), the twilight tango turned into a trio as Earth's moon, got involved in this eye-catching celestial scene. A slender crescent moon had positioned about 5 degrees to the lower right of Jupiter. Venus was about 5 degrees below and to the left of Jupiter and nearly 10 degrees to the left (east) of the slender moon. The trio resembled an isosceles triangle, with Jupiter as the tip. This Saturday was one of the last chances to see Venus in all its glory. The planet was soon ending its brilliant morning appearance, which started in late January. The planet was still easy to spot below Jupiter, but after mid-September, it was to rise only about 30 minutes before sunrise. Jupiter would be climbing progressively higher with each passing morning and will become more and more prominent in the predawn sky. But on Saturday morning, about 45 minutes before sunrise, low in the east-northeast sky, Jupiter was sharing the billing with Venus and the moon. These three brightest objects of the night had called everyone's attention to the eastern sky as the dawn twilight advanced. This particular conjunction was one of the uncommon types. The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in this part of the sky only happens once every 12 years. That being said, I hope you guys had a chance to view this triangular conjunction of these 3 heavenly bodies!
(Pics taken on Saturday, August 23, 2014)
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