Lots of evening sky photos – Jupiter, Venus, Mercury – Orion and star clusters – Mars – and stars around them

Look for Mercury – a tiny dot down to the right of the tree. The two bright dots above are Venus (brightest) and Jupiter (highest and not as bright as Venus).

Mercury (lower right), Venus and Jupiter


Canon XS 20 seconds, F/20, 29mm, ISO 200.

If you turn around, Mars is rising in the east. It’s a red dot, brighter than the other stars around it from the constellation Leo the Lion. Leo looks like he’s jumping up into the sky (sorry I left off some of his head at the top of the frame).

Mars is the brightest 'star' in this photo. It's white, instead of red, because I overexposed the photo (20 seconds) to get the background stars.

As a bonus, here’s a photo of Orion (on the left) and the Pleiades (looking like a little dipper) to the upper right and the V-shaped Hyades cluster in between.

Orion, Hyades, Pleiades.


Click to enlarge and look for the little out-of-focus star in the stars below the bright three belt stars of Orion! That’s the Orion Nebula.
(Canon XS 20 seconds, F/4, ISO-400, 18mm.)
Also, I used the custom white balance feature on the Canon XS, which makes makes the sky look more normal, without the reddish glow often seen on long exposures in light-polluted skies.

Now go out and see it all for yourself – get where you can see the sky and block out bright lights!

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