A Brightly Shining Crescent Venus

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A Brightly Shining Crescent Venus
Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, November 18, 2013 5:31 PM

I went out to my front yard not long ago to catch a flare from Iridium 34 at 5:49:49 p.m. EST.  About five minutes later, my wife and I viewed Venus through my 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube achromatic refractor, an 8-24mm Vixen zoom eyepiece, and a 6mm Tele Vue Delos eyepiece. 

Venus is currently 39% illuminated and is 31 arc seconds in apparent size.  Its waning crescent shape was readily noticeable through the 6mm Delos (67x).  Zooming in with the Vixen ocular, I first noted a crescent shape at a focal length of about 18mm (22x).  The second-magnitude star Nunki (Sigma Sagittarii) was visible in the same field of view, about 15 arc minutes to the northeast of Venus.

As Venus approaches inferior conjunction on January 11, 2014, it will wax in apparent size to more than one arc minute as it wanes in phase to a tiny sliver.

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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Posted by DaveMitsky on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:31 PM

An image of Venus and Nunki can be seen at http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=89935

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 Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:34 PM

My wife and I observed Venus again this evening through the Orion ST80.  This time I employed the Vixen zoom eyepiece, an 8.8mm Meade 5000 UWA (45x), and a 5mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 6 (80x).  Stopping the scope down with its aperture mask eliminated much of the fast achromat's chromatic aberration at 80x. 

Venus subtended 32 arc seconds at the time and was almost 38% illuminated.

Nunki was positioned about 1.5 degrees to the lower right of Venus but required a binocular to be seen.

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 Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:33 PM

About an hour and a half later I watched USA 152 go into the Earth's shadow as it climbed towards Cygnus.

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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