Astrophotographer captures planetary parade with the moon in stunning photo (2024)

Astrophotographer captures planetary parade with the moon in stunning photo (1)

The much-hyped planetary alignment of June may not have been the jaw-dropping naked-eye spectacle some made it out to be, but it still made for some stunning astrophotography.

Josh Dury of Somerset, England caught the planetary parade on June 1, 2024, from atop Crooks Peak, a popular and historic outcropping of rock in the Mendip Hills.

As Space.com night sky columnist Joe Rao pointed out, the planetary alignment was overhyped on social media as some of the planets would be quite difficult to see at all, much less to the unaided eye. Luckily, with the aid of some clever photography, Dury was able to photograph Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, Mars, Neptune and Saturn as they lined up alongside a crescent moon.

Related: The brightest planets in June's night sky: How to see them (and when)
Read more: Night sky, June 2024: What you can see tonight

Dury was able to produce this image by taking multiple exposures and combining them into one image. Some of the planets in this planetary alignment were quite close to the sun in the early morning sky, meaning different types of camera settings were needed to capture each one.

"On Saturday morning when I captured this photograph, I was amazed to see Saturn, the moon and Mars," Dury told Space.com via email. "I needed to capture separate exposures in order to capture the fainter planets as well as Jupiter, Uranus and Mercury closer to the glare of the sun; this image is therefore a composite to capture this perspective."

Despite having taken scores of photographs of the night sky, Dury says capturing this image was a great opportunity to consider humanity's place in the cosmos.

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"It is quite amazing in taking a moment to step back and appreciate the sheer scale and perspective of our place in the universe," Dury said.

Astrophotographer captures planetary parade with the moon in stunning photo (3)

Want to see the visible planets of the solar system for yourself? Be sure to check out ourbest telescopes for viewing planets guideand our more general guides for thebest binocularsand thebest telescopes.

And if you're interested in dabbling in your own impressive skywatching photography, don't miss our guide on what equipment you need to see and photograph the planets. We also have recommendations for the bestcameras for astrophotographyand thebest lenses for astrophotography.

Editor's Note:If you get a great photo of any of the planets and would like to share it with Space.com's readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location tospacephotos@space.com.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Brett Tingley

Managing Editor, Space.com

Brett is curious about emerging aerospace technologies, alternative launch concepts, military space developments and uncrewed aircraft systems. Brett's work has appeared on Scientific American, The War Zone, Popular Science, the History Channel, Science Discovery and more. Brett has English degrees from Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In his free time, Brett enjoys skywatching throughout the dark skies of the Appalachian mountains.

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