The planetary parade 2018 - the inner planets
Special Projects - "all nine", a planetary parade

In the Namibian winter of 2018 (July, August) it was possible to observe all 8 planets (+ Pluto and the bright planetoid Vesta) during the night. Additionally we had the long lunar eclipse on July 27th and of course the big Mars opposition. The planetary images on this website were not taken within one night, but within a few weeks. On July 27th we also opened a Planet Walk at the Rooisand lodge.
(all images can be enlarged by clicking the thumbnails)

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Images - SUN
Images - MOON
Images - DEEPSKY

The inner planets The outer planets
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptun
Pluto and Vesta

The total moon eclips on 27. Juli 2018

The planetary trail at Rooisand Lodge
The picture above shows the rise of full Moon and planet Mars next to the 4m dome on the evening of 27 July. The dome still glows in the twilight colours of the sunset. Click to load a large image.
Mercury stood between the middle and at the end of July in the evening twilight still high in the sky in the constellation Leo. Following three wide-angle views, taken on 26, 27 and 30 July 2018. All three images can be enlarged by clicking the thumbnails.
Mercury on 26.07.2018
Mercury and Venus on 27.07.2018 Mercury and Venus 30.07.2018

« The picture on the left shows the planets Mercury and Venus on July 26, 2018.

« « The picture on the left shows the planet Venus in the background star field, taken on August 10, 2018 (200mm telephoto lens).

Both pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.
On the right two pictures of the Venus crescent, taken on September 12th (right) and September 26th.

Celestron SkyRis video module 445C, Celestron C14 + Baader Q-Turett Barlow element, focal length about 6.500mm

The picture series below shows the planet Venus in UV light. Left taken on July 30th and right on August 6th. The camera was a ZWO ASI 290, Celstron C14 focal. A Baader U-Filter was used.

The UV images are the colored monochrome images.
EARTH   How can the planet Earth be visualized in such a planetary parade? Perhaps best with the Earth's shadow arc. The term is used to describe the shadow cone that the Earth throws out into space. When imaging with moderate focal lengths, the shadow appears to be parallel to the horizon, while extreme wide-angle images show that the shadow is indeed arc-shaped.

Earth shadow rising to the left shortly after sunset. The middle picture shows the full Moon rise and the Earth shadow, taken on 27 July, the day of the total lunar eclipse. The right picture shows the Moon in the shadow cone of the Earth during the total lunar eclipse. All three pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

» » The picture on the right, taken on 27 July, shows the planet Mars, the eclipsed Moon in the middle of the eclipse and the southern Milky Way in a wide-angle image.

» The picture on the right shows Mars in the background star field, taken on 10 August with a 200mm telephoto lens. Both images can be enlarged by clicking on them.
That was the great Mars opposition in July 2018. Day of opposition was the 27th of July. The distance between Earth and Mars was only 58 million kilometre and Mars shined with a maximum brightness of -2m8. Unfortunately - as is often the case during Mars oppositions - an almost global dust storm developed. The image sharpness and the contrast were partly strongly reduced. The maximum apparent Mars diameter was 24.2 arc seconds.

The following 11 images were taken with a Celestron 14 and a 17 inch Planewave astrograph. We used a ZWO ASI 290 and a SkyRis 445 Color. The focal lengths were partially extended with a Baader Q-Turett Barlow element. A Baader IR pass filter was used for all monochrome images.

   Mars on 4. Juli (C 14)
   global dust storm
   Mars on 23.Juli (C 14)    Mars on 25.Juli (C 14)
   Mars on 26.Juli (PlaneWave)
   Mars on 28.Juli (PlaneWave)    Mars on 30.Juli (C 14)
   Mars on 1. August (C 14)
   Mars on 12. August (C 14)    Mars on 23. August (PlaneWave)
In the two best images of 26th (17 inch Planewave) and 30th July (Celestron 14) the image resolution is certainly 0.5 arc seconds or less.

The effects of the dust storm and the local seeing conditions are also clearly visible in the individual images.

« « Mars on 24. August (C 14)

« Mars am on. September (C 14)

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All Images and all Content are © by Wolfgang Paech, Franz Hofmann + Dirk Lucius