May 2002 Planet Gallery
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Summary: The five brightest planets converged in the evening western sky this month. Four of them (Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury) formed an eye-catching knot during the first week of May. On May 10th and 11th, Venus and Mars drew so close together that they resembled a bright double star. Learn more from Science@NASA.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location, Date Larger images Comments

Dominic Cantin, 75 km north of Quebec City, Canada
May 11
#1, #2, #3 D. Cantin was visiting the Laurentides wildlife reserve when he captured these pictures of the planets during a geomagnetic storm. The striking "double star" in each of the images is Venus and mars. Photo details: 28 mm @ f 2.8, ~25 sec, Fuji Superia 800

Lauri Kangas, Caledon, Ontario, Canada
May 10
#1, #2 Photo details: Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera, 8 second exposure, f/2.6, ISO 200.

Bartek Okonek, Leszno, Poland
May 10
#1, #2 B. Okonek: "Image #1 shows Jupiter, Venus and two finderscopes of my telescope. Image #2 is a close-up of Venus and Mars. The planets were closer together than the diameter of the Moon (30')"

Terry V. Lutz, northern Ohio, USA
May 10
#1 The full-sized version of this image clearly shows Mars and Venus -- a striking "double star" hovering above the lake. Photo details: Canon A40 digital camera, 15 second exposure at f2.8.

Peter Paice, Belfast, Northern Ireland
May 10
#1 P. Paice: "Clouds parted for a while enabling me to image the planets (Mars and Venus) using a 6" refractor and afocal coupling to my Olympus 2040Z digital camera. Settings were f2.3, 200ASA and exp.0.3sec."

Stan Richard, Des Moines, Iowa
May 9
#1, #2, more In this image, the planets shine beside the brightly-lit capital building in Des Moines, Iowa.

Steve Winchester, Portage Lake, Pinckney, Michigan
May 9
#1 Venus and Mars appear remarkably close together in this snapshot captured by S. Winchester using a Canon G2 digital camera (10 sec exposure at f/2.2).

Jimmy Westlake, Yampa, Colorado
May 8
#1, #2 Photo details: Kodak Max 400 film, 35 mm lens at f3.3.

Les Marczi, Ontario, Canada
May 7
#1 L. Marczi: "I took these using my Nikon 995 digital camera from the vineyards near my home in southern Ontario."

Denis Joye, 40 km west of Paris, France, May 7 #1 Photo details: 8 seconds exposure with an EPSON 3000 digital camera.

Lauri Kangas, Caledon, Ontario, Canada
May 7
#1, #2, #3 Photo details: Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera, 2 to 8 second exposures, f/2.6 and ISO 200.

Wah!, Hong Kong
May 6
#1 In spite of urban light pollution, the planets were visible after sunset in Hong Kong.

Don Koenigsberg, Bryn Mawr, PA, May 5 #1, #2 This picture shows three planets behind the photographer's daughter.

Mike O'Leary, El Cajon, CA, May 5 #1 M. O'Leary: "This was the view from El Cajon, CA. A little haze, but otherwise a beautiful sight. This shot was taken at 8:30 using a Canon G-2. The exposure was 15 sec @ f/2.5."

Mike O'Melia, New York, NY, May 3 #1, #2 These must-see images show Venus, Mars and Saturn above the Empire State Building in New York. Photo details: Nikon FM2 with 85mm-1.4 @ f/4; 4secs exposure on EBX Elitechrome Xtra Color film.

Peter Paice, Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 5 #1, #2 P. Paice: "We were blessed with a clear sunset over the hills behind Belfast. Image details: Olympus 2040z digital camera, set at f2.3, 1sec.,400ASA equivalent. 21.30hrs UT."

Chris Schur and John Offarell, Payson, Arizona, USA
May 4
#1 On May 4th faint Comet Utsunomiya glided by Mercury just 3.3 arcminutes from the planet "We were surpised at the appearance of the comet, a broad fan split down the middle," says Schur. "The tail was short in binoculars, and the pair set just as it was barely dark enough to photograph them."

Lauri Kangas, Caledon, Ontario, Canada
May 4
#1 L Kangas: "Photo taken on May 4, 2002 at 9:26 p.m. with a Nikon Coolpix 995 with .63x wide converter. Exposure was 4 seconds at f/2.6 and ISO 200."

Schindler Leung, Hong Hong
May 3
#1, more Venus and the other planets are easy to see in this image despite the bright urban lights of Hong Kong.

Les Marczi, Ontario, Canada
May 3
#1, #2 L. Marczi: "I took these using my Nikon 995 digital camera from the vineyards near my home in southern Ontario."

Ron Giachetti, Spokane, WA
May 3
#1 R. Giachetti: "Everyone seems to be missing marking one planet that, even though it is obvious, when marked, makes me think more about how much a part of star stuff we all really are." He means, of course, Earth.

Steve Sumner, Mount Shasta, CA
May 3
#1, #2, more This picture was taken from Mount Shasta, CA. A pretty array of 5 planets is arranged above the volcanic cinder cone Black Butte.

Stan Richard, near Des Moines, IA
May 2
#1, #2, #3, more S. Richard: "I just got back from a beautiful evening under the stars viewing the planet alignment at one of my favorite dark sky sites: Saylorville Lake near Des Moines, IA. I shot these photos with my Nikon 950 digital camera."

Giampiero Mascelli, Rome, Italy
May 1
#1 Venus and Mercury appear in this twilight photo looking across Rome.


See also our April 2002 Gallery