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Astrophotographer captures the Parade of Planets with the Moon in one photo

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The parade of planets was captured in one photo. Source: Pixabay

Astrophotographer Josh Dury observed the June 1, 2024, parade of planets from the top of Crooks Peak, England, a popular and historic rock outcropping in the Mendip Hills. He was able to capture Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune, Saturn, and the Moon in one shot during a planetary parade.

The much-publicized June planetary alignment may not have been as exceptional a spectacle to the naked eye as some might think, but it did produce some stunning photos. Josh Dury posted the relevant photos on his Instagram account and explained how he managed to capture the space objects.

The expert said that on Earth, one could see the planets lined up in a certain line. Each of them changed due to their relative orbits. In the morning, the sky was cloudy, so the astrophotographer decided to try his luck on Saturday morning, when a clear sky was predicted.

He needed to gain a certain altitude to see the planets as soon as they rose above the horizon. In order to take this photo, due to the changing light levels at sunrise and the huge size of the objects, a composition of two separate exposures was used to capture all the events in this image.

Parade of planets

"I admit I was testing the equipment's capabilities, and I had to carefully control the exposure, hoping to capture some of the surface; at the same time, I was keeping a close eye on the time I would see Jupiter," he explained.

Dury was able to create this image by taking multiple exposures and combining them into a single image. Some of the planets in this constellation were quite close to the Sun in the morning sky, which means that different types of camera settings were needed to capture each one. He was able to capture Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, and Saturn as they lined up with the crescent moon.

On the Saturday morning when he took this photo, he was amazed to see Saturn, the Moon, and Mars. He tried to take separate exposures to capture the smaller planets, as well as Jupiter, Uranus and Mercury closer to the sun's glare; so this image is a composite to reflect that perspective.

Despite having taken dozens of photos of the night sky, Duryea says that creating this image was a great opportunity to reflect on humanity's place in space.

"It's just amazing to take a step back and appreciate the scale and perspective of our place in the universe," Duryea told Space.

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