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Helio Vital
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
05:48 pm

Equipment Details:

All photos were taken around 17:48 +- 3 min. (UTC-3h) with a Nikon CoolPix P900 camera at manual mode and settings: texp=1/60s, F=6.5 and ISO 100.

Magnifications used were between 40 and 120 times. Only the camera (on a tripod) was used. No telescope was attached.

Image Details:

Fortunately, the weather helped, and I managed to get some photos of the Venus-Mercury close conjunction at today`s sunset. Only 27 arcminutes separated Venus (magnitude -3.9) from Mercury (magnitude -1.0) and the pair was still deeply inside the sun`s glare, as their angular distances from the Sun were respectively :7.8° and 8.2°. Catching Mercury at sunset using only the camera was quite a challenge, since it is shining 15 times dimmer than Venus.

What makes this report interesting (in my opinion) is that a planetary conjunction so near the sun is very rarely recorded, let alone using only a digital camera without guiding or setting circles.