Rare planet alignment caught on camera

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LEWES stargazer Mike Ward-Sale captured a rare alignment of Jupiter, Venus and the crescent Moon on camera.

The photograph was taken from his home in St John’s Terrace.

Jupiter and Venus this week appeared near each other in the night sky in a display that delighted amateur astronomers.

The planets are 450 million miles apart in space, but because they were aligned in the same direction from Earth on Tuesday night appeared just three degrees apart.

They were visible towards the West just after sunset and before the stars appeared. They will appear bright and relatively close over the next few weeks, and will be most visible in rural areas where there is less light pollution.

Venus is brighter because of its relative closeness to Earth and because it gets more intense sunlight than Jupiter.

For the technically minded, Mike used a Pentax K7, with a remote control at 4 sec. - f 9 - 18mm, using a Manfrotto vernier-scale head, on a 10lb steel tripod, with light retouching/cropping and noise reduction.