Venus and the Pleiades, a cosmic hug of rare beauty – images from 1 Apr. 2020

While waiting for the climax, the Venus & Pleaides conjunction is already a stunning sight up there. Here they are a few images from last evening, showing this celestial hug.

Venus and the Pleiades shine at evening. 1 Apr. 2020

Venus and the Pleiades shine at evening. 1 Apr. 2020

Tomorrow, 3 Apr., the spectacular conjunction involving planet Venus and the Pleiades star cluster will be at its best, but even now the show is well worth a look. Yesterday evening I managed to image the couple from my terrace, complying with the current restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 here in Italy.

I used one of my Canon 5DmIV DSLR bodies, coupled with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, offering a high luminosity, perfect for my plans. Of course, I used a sturdy tripod to keep all the instruments in operation.

I reached the terrace soon after sunset, as I really love seeing the stars slowly appearing in the fading daylight. Needless to say, Venus was a obvious presence since the beginning and I started imaging it, leaving enough room for Pleiades to be included in the pictures.

I must admit that I love seeing the stars while the sky is still a bit light blue and I wanted to capture this event this way, too. Here it is one of the image I grabbed.

Venus and the Pleiades at dusk, while the sky was still a bit clear. 1 Apr. 2020

Venus and the Pleiades at dusk, while the sky was still a bit clear. 1 Apr. 2020

In the growing darkness, the view was superb. The entire Taurus (“Bull”) constellation was visible, with its brightest star Aldebaran and the other star cluster, the Hyades, well visible. I managed to capture this larger view below, with objects properly labelled:

Venus, the Pleiades and part of the Taurus constellation. 1 Apr. 2020

Venus, the Pleiades and part of the Taurus constellation. 1 Apr. 2020

Of course, the best has yet to come and this experience made me eager to see at it.

The Virtual Telescope Project will show this cosmic hug live, next 3 April!

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