Lunar Occultation of Venus April 22 2009
Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:12 PM
I rushed to a hilltop in downtown Portland at 4:30AM. At 1024' elev, the eastern horizon was shrouded in low fog although the sky overhead was clear. Driving around the Portland West Hills, I finally found a last resort location although still not seeing the moon, it finally came thorugh the clouds but only for fleeting moments at daybreak, at 5:25 AM Venus contacted the moons lower limb for this pastel impression on black Artagain 19" X 25" paper. I made some notes and a crude photo for reference, returning home to sketch it all from mostly memory. The city scene below as naked eye and the telescope view above at low power, through a 32mm plossl on a Nexstar 5i. Light wind and cool dew prevailed. The daylight and thickening clouds washed out the reappearance of Venus. *I might add that the artwork image here in the Net is quite diminished from the actual artwork. Not sure why, camera failing, lighting when art was photographed, etc or all of the above.
*I thought I'd add the images I took of the sky here today to show the actual scene where I made the art work from - Note the original sky at my arrival time of 4:45 AM and light pollution of the city lights onto the overhead low clouds and fog due east over the sity hills at the horizon- Then note the clearing overhead where Jupiter is to the south yest Venus and the moon are obscurred directly to the east over the low horizon clouds and fog. (Very frustrating as I considered jumping back into the car to drive higher in elevation) In the First two photos- side-by-side, the clouds lifted yet only for a few seconds to see the contact event of the occultation through the telescope, then the photo you see here shows the moon but Venus was occulted by then.
Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:39 PM
Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:14 PM
Excellent capture and composite sketch of the event in the dual way it is best appreciated. You really have a wonderful way of portraying astronomical events of note. Excellent.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:26 AM
You reminded me that when I saw it this morning I couldn't help but think that Venus looked to me like a wart or pimple on the moon when it came into contact. Then it was pretty cool to see it smooth away to just the moon. I missed the transit on the other side, a telescopic view of it reappearing would be pretty interesting, too bad the weather didn't cooperate.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:25 AM
A lovely sketch, the composition is very nice indeed.
I really enjoy your work!
Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:48 AM
An excellent observation of the Moon and Venus over Portland. The ingress observation looks impressive as well. I am sorry that your weather was not better for the event. Thank you for sharing these observations with us all.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:50 AM
Yes, I was lucky to catch this view through the telescope and only for a few seconds as I was under fog and clouds after scurrying around the West Hills at 1,000' elevation for a clear view at the last moments. I received an email today from all places, another gentleman in Portland who saw my pre-sketch in Spaceweather.com the day before the event; so he was inspired to get up and look. He sent me the photographs that he took. (This is an example of when the internet really works! Art communicates and people learn! )
Many photos on the web show the conjunction composition but very few show the actual first contact point at the occultation. I wonder now how many people across the planet did not realize that Venus would be covered by the moon. There are only a few photos and I tried but the clouds beat me to getting the camera onto the eyepiece. *See Spaceweatherâ€™s long list today. One, John Shirley of Folsom CA caught almost exactly what I depicted seeing here.
I meant to add some golden or warm yellow to the arc of Venus as it was low and distorted when I saw it contacting the moons limb for only a few seconds through the eyepiece of the telescope in the fog. Sometimes I like to add the actual distortions and shimmering edges as actually observed. Perhaps I'll add a close-up later today showing that.