Venus Among the Pleiades

Love comes to the virgin companions of Artemis -- or the planet Venus passes
Messier 45. The young star cluster, the Pleiades, lies only a few degrees
from the ecliptic and is regularly visitted by the planets of the solar system.
No appulse is more spectacular than when Venus happens by. I made this
photograph in evening twilight on April 3, 2004, at the telecompressed prime focus
of a 5-inch F6 Astro-Physics refractor using a Nikon D100 (15sec, F4.5, ISO 200).
The planet was 700x brighter than the brightest star in the Pleiades, just above
center. Venus was overtaking the Earth, beginning its swing between us and the Sun.
When the photo was made, Venus was almost exactly one hundred million kilometers
from the Earth, thirty-five million times closer than the stars of the Pleiades.

In Memoriam: Professor Joel Feinberg.

Just about the time I made this picture
in evening twilight in North Carolina, friends,
family, and colleagues of Joel Feinberg gathered to
celebrate his life and career in Arizona.

Bigger Images for computer wallpaper: [800 pixels] [1600 pixels]

Feel free to download these for your personal use (for computer wallpaper,
for example, to hang on your office door or to stick under a refrigerator magnet).
If you want to use them in a magazine, put them on a CD cover, or sell real
estate on Sanibel Island, please get in touch.

Photos copyright 2004, David Cortner.
All rights reserved.