December 19, 2021 - which planet?

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ewomack
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December 19, 2021 - which planet?

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Post by ewomack »

This picture was taken on December 19th, 2021, probably sometime within 6 - 7 PM, at around 45° N in an area with considerable light pollution. I remember being shocked at how bright the object above the moon looked and I was even more shocked that my mobile phone picked it up at all. I'm guessing that the top bright dot is Venus? The December 2021 passage for Venus in the "The Monthly Sky Guide" says: "Reaches magnitude -4.7, as bright as it can ever get, in the first half of December, when it appears as a crescent through small telescopes...." The smaller red dot also appears in other photographs from different angles of the same scene, so is that possibly another planet? From the same source, Mars reached magnitude 1.6 and Jupiter magnitude -2.2 during December, 2021. I put this in the beginner's forum because I'm not exactly sure how I would go about verifying the objects in this picture. Is "The Monthly Sky Guide" a good source? Or do better sources exist? Despite the weather at the time, I spent a long time staring at these luminous things.
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Last edited by ewomack on Sat May 14, 2022 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ARock
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Re: December 21, 2021 - which planet?

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Post by ARock »

You should download Stellarium (free on desktop/laptop) set your location and time (you can set the time to a past time) and look at the night sky.
You will immediately realize the pic cannot have been taken on Dec 19 or Dec 21 because although Venus is quite bright in the western sky, the moon is actually in the eastern sky far from Venus on those date/times.

Then you can try to figure out the correct time the pic was taken. Which in your case is easy because you used a camera which records the date in the image. If you look at the properties of your pic on a computer you will see that it was actually taken on Dec 6 2021 5:24 pm. Set that time on Stellarium and the sky matches your picture. Then try to figure out which planet the other dot is from the night sky view on Stellarium.
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ewomack
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Re: December 19, 2021 - which planet?

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Post by ewomack »

Okay, interesting. I did look at the properties on the picture before posting it - I should have mentioned that. But I didn't dig deeply enough on the "details" tab to find the "date taken" field. And it does say, just as you said, December 6, 2021, 5:24 PM. Cool.

I've been pretty tired the last few days, so I guess that's my only excuse for calling the thread "December 21." :D I probably inadvertently put "21" of "2021" into the title instead of "19." I changed it. Oh well.

Thank you for the tips and advice. Obviously, I'm very new to this, but trying to learn.

Using the web version of Stellarium (I will likely download the Windows version as well), entering that date and time does show Venus above the moon that night at a -4.56 magnitude. Saturn and Jupiter were also out, but the other, wider pictures don't show them, but the skies looked pretty cloudy further up in the sky, or maybe just light pollution obscured them?
Planets.png
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