Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama

Planetary Marathon II

21 July 2018

Right to left, all of the (official) planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, arranged in order of distance from the Sun, all shown at the same image scale as seen on the night of July 21-22. The diameter of Uranus was 3.5 arcseconds, and Neptune was 2.3 arcseconds.

This was a second attempt at a sunset-to-sunrise planetary marathon (the first was a week ago). Starting from sunset the planets were lined up in the order: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus. Despite some early evening clouds and an even lower Mercury, I was able to balance my time well enough to include Neptune this time. Mars is just a few days away from its closest point to us, but surface details are largely obscured by a global dust storm.

Image acquisition: Firecapture / ZWO ASI1600MC camera on Celestron C11 + 2x teleconverter. Image processing: Autostakkert, Registax, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Note: Seeing was slightly better on this evening so combined with additional image processing, more details are visible in this image set.


This is a (labeled) panoramic view looking south a few hours after sunset. Click on the image for an enlarged view. In this view, Mercury has set to the west, and Neptune and Uranus are still below the eastern horizon. This was shot from the Anza site of the Orange County Astronomers. The white buildings in the foreground are OCA member observatories.