Planets over Stonehenge - Alignment of the Century
This picture shows a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event taking place in the sky above Stonehenge. On the night of May 4th 2002, all five of the Sun's major planets were captured in an alignment of fascinating symmetry, so rare that few such events, so compact and easily visible to the unaided eye, have occurred since ancient times when this astronomical monument was first built.
Bright Jupiter stands highest, above the left-most sarsen of the central trilithon. The triad of Mars, Saturn and Venus can be seen in beautiful symmetry above the western lintel, while Mercury, fighting the glow of the setting sun, can be spotted immediately to the left of the adjacent sarsen.
For the rest of this century there will be only three other chances to see the five major planets so tightly grouped: September 2040, July 2060, and November 2100. But none of these groupings will afford such a spectacle to the unaided eye as this grouping. This is the astronomical alignment of the Century, captured from one of the most ancient astronomical monuments in the world.
Date: 04/05/2002 : 20:55 UT
Location: Stonehenge, England
Conditions: calm, excellent transparency
Camera: Pentax 67 with 45mm f/4 lens working at f/4
Film: Fuji NPZ 800 120 format
Mount: Fixed tripod
Exposure: 10 seconds
Processing: The film was developed in Tetenal C-41 Monopowder technology and scanned using a Sprintscan 45 Ultra. Image processing was applied using Photoshop.