The Moon, Venus and Mercury play in the sky – 22 & 24 May 2020

These last evenings, at sunset, the sky was enlightened by the beauty of the Moon, Venus and Mercury. We captured a few images of that unique show and are pleased to share them with you.

The Moon, Venus (bottom right), Mercury (just right of the Moon) and the star Elnath (upper right corner). - 24 May 2020

The Moon, Venus (bottom right), Mercury (just right of the Moon) and the star Elnath (upper right corner). – 24 May 2020

While Venus is leaving the evening sky, it still had time for a superb meeting with other celestial treasures. On 22 May, it was in conjunction with Mercury, the most difficult planet to see (because of its orbit, well within that of the Earth, Mercury can only be seen shortly soon after sunset or just before sunrise), those very hours at its best for the current year. I was in Frosinone that evening, visiting my family. I was looking West soon after sunset, to enjoy every color of the fading day: it was simply superb. I imaged using one of my Canon 5DmIV DSLR bodies, coupled with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, all this on a sturdy tripod.

It is honestly hard to report my feelings, I can only hope the images here will bring part of them to you, at least. The one below was captured once I started seeing Mercury with my own eyes: some gentle clouds made the vision even more beautiful.

Venus and Mercury - 22 May 2020.

Venus and Mercury – 22 May 2020.

Minute after minute, the night rolled in and I could not stop looking at the amazing show up there. I was simply overwhelmed by the absolute elegance of the planetary couple, the colors and the clouds. It was hard to concentrate on imaging, from time to time.

Venus and Mercury shine in the glory of the sunset - 22 May 2020.

Venus and Mercury shine in the glory of the sunset – 22 May 2020.

Time is always running, quickly Venus and Mercury approached the roofs below, preparing to set. I could still look at them for a while, now that the sky was getting darker and darker. Look how bright Venus was… and how easy it was to capture Mercury, too.

Venus and Mercury prepare to set together - 22 May 2020.

Venus and Mercury prepare to set together – 22 May 2020.

Two days later, on May 24th, the Moon joined the party. Meantime, Mercury quickly moved East, leaving Venus alone. Our satellite was wearing its elegant “Earthshine“, which I really love.

I was in Rome, this time. As I did a few times during these strange days, still handling the Covid-19 epidemic responsibly, I managed to set up my imaging stuff in complete safety on the roof of the building where I live in Rome. Once again, I worked with one of my Canon 5DmIV DSLR bodies + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.

The image at the beginning of this story tells you about the experience: terrific. I really find these celestial meetings so powerful and effective to bring to us the glory and the beauty of the night sky, especially to our very own eyes.

It was also easy to record the phase of Venus, resembling a little Moon.

The phase of Venus - 24 May 2020.

The phase of Venus – 24 May 2020.

Now that all this has gone, I’m already looking forward to the next show, stay tuned!

Keep looking up!

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