The bright “star” in this starry view is planet Jupiter. The red lines were made by someone walking with a red flashlight aimed at the ground. Imaged near the date of its 2010 opposition, it completely overpowers every actual star in the night sky. Jupiter is always bright but it looks a little brighter than usual during its opposition which is the brightest time of the planet in our sky and its closest distance to us (opposition take place when the Earth go between Jupiter – or other planets outside the Earth orbit – and the sun every 13 months). Coincidentally, during September 2010 Jupiter is also passing almost in front of the planet Uranus. But Uranus is 5 times farther away and almost 3,000 times dimmer so a binocular or a telescope is needed to see the green planet only a degree from Jupiter. Move the slider on the image to see all labels to find Uranus like a faint star just at the upper right of Jupiter. More coincidences are also happening here. Jupiter and Uranus find themselves close to the point on the sky known as the vernal equinox, where the Sun crosses the celestial equator on the first day of spring. (Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.)



comments (6)

  • Bud Branch Reply

    Is this a composite or a single exposure? Very, very beautiful – please reply with technical details, if possible?

    September 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  • Babak Tafreshi Reply

    Bud, thanks for your feedback. This is not a composite but a vertical panorama of 4 shots, all taken at 45s exposure (tracked), ISO 1600, 24mm lens at f2.5. I have used a modified DSLR camera.

    September 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm
  • Garry Reply

    It’s the Autumnal equinox, not the Vernal.

    September 19, 2010 at 9:23 am
  • Tunç Tezel Reply

    There is no mistake, it really is Vernal Equinox point. The Sun is at Autumnal Equinox point. Jupiter and Uranus are both very close to Vernal Equinox point, at the exact opposite spot, hence in opposition.

    September 19, 2010 at 10:15 am
  • Art Rosch Reply

    This has it all, Babak. Earth, air, fire and..uh…
    water? Well, almost all. I love it. You mentioned
    the filter you used to get these enlarged bright object
    images, but I can’t find the reference. Can you
    email me or answer here?

    September 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm
  • Babak Tafreshi Reply

    Hi Art, there are various diffuser or fog filters to use for this effect but I personally use Cokin diffusers.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

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