Milky Way and 3 Planets
An owl hooting, geese honking, coyotes howling, and a river gurgling - these were the sounds that filled the air on this frosty night. At this dot on the map called Moorhead in southeast Montana, there’s nothing really here. But that’s the point. It’s in a black zone on a light pollution map, which means the night sky doesn’t get any darker than this. The core of the Milky Way galaxy, after going behind the sun for the winter, has now returned to the pre-dawn skies. Also joining the Milky Way is a trio of planets: Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. I wasn’t sure if they would make it over the bluff before astronomical twilight began. But they did, casting long shimmering reflections on the Powder River. When two or more planets pass close to each other in Earth’s sky, it’s called a planetary conjunction. Since the planets more or less orbit the sun in the same plane, conjunctions are not all that rare. But they’re always beautiful to see.
- Kevin Palmer
- Image Size
- 5821x3886 / 11.6MB
2020, BLM, Jupiter, March, Mars, Montana, Moorhead, Powder River, Saturn, United States, astronomy, astrophotography, bluff, clear, conjunction, dark, early, flowing, galaxy, kevin palmer, milk way, morning, night, nikon d750, reflection, sky, space, spring, starry, stars, tamron 24-70mm f2.8, water
- Contained in galleries
- Recent Work, Night Sky, Montana