were captured in December 2020,
before, at, and after the "Great
Conjunction" on December 21. All were taken with a Canon EOS RP
mirrorless full-frame digital camera, but using a different lens and focal
length for each. From the top, on December 12, a Tamron 150 to 600 mm
telephoto zoom lens at 600 mm; middle, December 21 (the day of formal
conjunction in geocentric right ascension), a Canon 400 mm telephoto
lens; bottom, December 27, a 130 mm, f/7 apo refractor, 910
mm focal length. Each was cropped proportionately to the same equivalent
focal length of 1,136 mm for direct comparison of the planetary
separation, as noted below each image. They are single frame
exposures on a fixed tripod, nominally at 5:35 pm EST on the indicated
date. Brightness of these twilight images has been reduced somewhat to emphasize the
positions of Jupiter and Saturn. The field of view is 1.8° wide x 1.2°
high in each case.
December 12, 2018,
59 arc minutes separation, Jupiter at bottom right, Saturn at top left
(Maple Shade, NJ).
21, 2020, formal conjunction, 6 arc minutes separation,
Jupiter is below-left of Saturn (East Point, NJ).
27, 2020, 42 arc minutes separation, Jupiter at upper
left, Saturn bottom right (Moorestown, NJ).