Three of the five visible planets are closing in on each other for their May rendezvous. In this photo, the Moon and Venus are in the lower right, Mars is next to the Pleiades. Saturn is near the top, above the Hyades star cluster in Taurus. Jupiter is above Saturn and out of the frame of the picture, Mercury is just below the horizon and not visible. By May 12th the five planets will span just 33 degrees. All five naked eye planets won't be this close to each other again until September 7th, 2040. The photo was taken in Holt, Michigan on April 14th, 2002, using a digital camera on a tripod. The shutter was opened for about 10 seconds. Click on the images for high resolution versions (2048x1536).
Here's another photo of Mars, the Moon and Venus.
The photo was taken in Valhalla Park, Holt, Michigan on April 14th, 2002
This photo was taken one day later, on April 15th, 2002. Notice how far the moon has moved in just one day.
This photo was taken on April 16th, 2002. The moon has past Saturn. In this 8 second photograph, the moon is overexposed a bit so that you can see the stars and planets. This photo was taken at 9:26 pm. The sun set at 8:22 pm, one hour and 4 minutes earlier.
Here's a cliping from Abrams Planetarium
Sky Calendar. It shows the positions and names of the stars & planets in these photos.
This is a composite of two photos taken on April 17th, 2002. Now the moon is between Jupiter and Saturn.
Planetarium Production Coordinator
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan, USA