Sunrise, Sunset

On my way to work yesterday morning I saw this nice Sun pillar about 5 minutes before sunrise. It reached a good 20-25 degrees above the horizon. Sun pillars are caused by sunlight reflecting off ice crystals in the atmosphere (which there should be plenty of since it has been extremely cold the last few days.)

01/09/2015 0700 CST Sun Pillar - Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

01/09/2015 0700 CST Sun Pillar – Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

Driving home the same day, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of Venus (upper left & brighter) and Mercury (lower right & dimmer). This is a close near conjunction of the two planets. They were fairly low in the early western evening sky.

Venus & Mercury in close near conjunction 01/09/2015 1730 CST - Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

Venus & Mercury in close near conjunction 01/09/2015 1730 CST – Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

Venus & Mercury in close near conjunction 01/09/2015 1730 CST - Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

Venus & Mercury in close near conjunction 01/09/2015 1730 CST – Copyright (c) 2015 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.

Category(s): Amateur Astronomy

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