Venus As The Evening Star

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  • Member since
    May, 2005
Venus As The Evening Star
Posted by Centaur on Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:59 PM
The current evening apparition of brilliant Venus for observers north of the tropics was difficult for much of the year as the post-sunset celestial geometry made it appear that Venus was making little progress in clearing the horizon. It has now reached its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun, but will appear to be popping higher into the sky through early December when it reaches greatest brilliance as the celestial geometry improves. Its illumination is now near dichotomy (like a Half Moon) and for the rest of the year will appear to become slimmer as a crescent but larger in diameter as it comes closer to Earth.
 
For my preview graphics and more detailed description of this apparition of Venus, visit www.CurtRenz.com/venus
 
Photos and descriptions of Venus would be welcome additions to this thread.

For astronomical graphics, including monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical


  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by duzzy on Saturday, November 09, 2013 6:09 PM

I was wondering if you think Venus is setting in an odd direction? Where I am in south central pennsylvania it seems to set more to the south or ssw. Do not think I have ever observed this before.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Centaur on Sunday, November 10, 2013 12:51 AM

duzzy

I was wondering if you think Venus is setting in an odd direction? Where I am in south central pennsylvania it seems to set more to the south or ssw. Do not think I have ever observed this before.

Duzzy, at the time of the winter solstice, the Sun sets near the southwest. Venus is currently near where the Sun is at the time of the winter solstice. In addition, it is now a little south of the ecliptic. So it sets even a little further south than the winter solstice Sun. 

Venus orbits the Sun almost exactly thirteen times in eight years. So after eight years it repeats its pattern. In 2005 its movement appeared similar to this year, as it will again in 2021.

Visit my Venus webpage at www.CurtRenz.com/venus and then click the button for "Venus as Evening Star." You will see how Venus has been positioned shortly after sunset this year.

For astronomical graphics, including monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical


  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Centaur on Sunday, December 08, 2013 10:03 AM

 

Venus is now shining brilliantly in the early evening southwestern sky. Its apparent angular diameter is growing large as its crescent shape thins. Soon it will be diving toward the Sun for their conjunction on 2014 JAN 10, so get your observing in now.

For astronomical graphics, including monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical


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  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, December 09, 2013 12:49 AM

Since my accident, I've been unable to do much telescopic observing.  I can't drive and need my wife's help to use even one of our small telescopes.  However, while my wife was away on Saturday evening, I managed to set up and train my 80mm Orion ShortTube 80 refractor on Venus by myself.  Venus had increased in apparent size to almost 42 arc seconds at that time.

I employed my 8-24mm Vixen and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom eyepieces.  I was able to definitely make out the 25% illuminated Venus as a crescent at 17x, the 24mm setting on the Vixen zoom.  I worked through the Vixen's entire range and then inserted the Nagler zoom, stopping at each focal length for a look.  The 3mm click stop setting (133x) produced a fairly large image of the waning crescent planet.  The best view was at 5mm (80x).

(This post puts me over the 15K mark on Astronomy.com.)

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:58 PM

My wife and I observed Venus again on Tuesday evening.  The 22% illuminated Venus had increased in apparent size to almost 44 arc seconds at the time.  As on the previous Wednesday and Saturday evenings, I used my 8-24mm Vixen and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom eyepieces and 80mm Orion ST80 refractor to view our "sister" planet.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

Moderator
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, December 16, 2013 11:08 PM

A video portraying Venusian phase changes over 9 months can be seen at http://videobam.com/mzdyL

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

Moderator
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:06 PM

I've been able to observe Venus several times since my last post in this thread.  Venus subtended 49 arc seconds and was only 16% illuminated when I observed it once more Tuesday evening with my 8-24mm Vixen (17 to 50x) and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler (67 to 133x) zoom eyepieces and 80mm f/5 Orion ST80 refractor.  Once again, I preferred the view at 80x (5mmm). 

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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