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Venus As The Evening Star

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#1 Centaur

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 03:04 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 be a slimmer 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.

#2 azure1961p

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

Thanks for the clarification of Venus on the evening sky and its brilliance values ahead. I promise myself this one but my schedule often has me out hours later.

Pete

#3 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:21 PM

I'm looking forward to Venus' phase changes, particularly during December. I just began my adventure into AP last week, and one of my goals is to capture most of the phases of Venus. I would like to either create an animated gif of the phases in motion or line them up side by side in a photo. While everyone else is caught up with Jupiter, i've been fascinated with Venus. :) Here's a shot I captured at twilight on 10/28.

Posted Image

#4 Centaur

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for the clarification of Venus on the evening sky and its brilliance values ahead. I promise myself this one but my schedule often has me out hours later.

Pete


You're welcome, Pete. The problem for Venus this year has been that during the spring and summer the ecliptic at sunset struck the horizon at a progressively steeper angle. So despite the fact that Venus appeared to be separating further from the Sun, it could not gain much post-sunset altitude. Paradoxically, it now appears to be approaching the Sun, but the changing angle of the ecliptic will make it appear higher each evening until early December.

#5 Centaur

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 10:53 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.

#6 aa6ww

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:34 PM

Venus is also an excellent day time planet to hunt down!!

...Ralph

#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:44 PM

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, as we did on Wednesday evening to observe Venus. However, while my wife was away on Saturday evening, I managed to set up and train my 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 achromatic refractor on Venus on my own. 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 and the lens cap aperture stop. 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 of magnifications 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).

Dave Mitsky

#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 04:28 PM

My wife and I observed the 22% illuminated Venus on Tuesday evening. 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 (17 to 50x) and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler (67 to 133x) zoom eyepieces and 80mm Orion ST80 refractor to view our "sister" planet..

Prior to observing Venus I witnessed a nice pass of the ISS. The space station reached a peak magnitude of -2.1 as it crossed the sky from the south-southwest to the east.

Dave Mitsky

#9 stevecoe

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:21 PM

Dave, et al;

Yes, Venus was very nice last night. I was using my new C 8 on a CGEM mount. With a 22mm Panoptic the crescent was easy and high enough in twilight that it was actually rather steady, for Venus. I do love Venus when it is a thin crescent like this.

I am in an RV park near Wickenburg, Arizona. I showed Venus and the Moon to several other folks in the park. Lots of fun.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

#10 stanislas-jean

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:09 AM

The present next conjunction can be also the oportunity to watch the AL, if present, with moderate means or to image the dark side with different filters, not only IR.
Stanislas-Jean

#11 SaberScorpX

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:57 PM

nine months of venus: http://videobam.com/mzdyL

peace,
stephen

#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:46 AM

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).

Venus will continue to wane in illumination and wax in apparent size to more than one arc minute, as it approaches inferior conjunction. It will disappear into the glare of the Sun by the second week of January. Inferior conjunction occurs at 12:00 UT on January 11th. Venus will be five degrees north of the Sun at that time.

This will be my 30,000th post on Cloudy Nights.

Dave Mitsky

#13 Michael Rapp

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:28 AM

What I find fascinating about Venus is that observing book after observing book informs you that there is nothing to see on Venus for the typical observer.....which is true.

However, the sight of Venus in a clear twilight sky is one of the most lovely sights in all of astronomy.

#14 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

The crescent can be readily seen in even 8x glasses, now.

#15 Rutilus

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 03:25 PM

The crescent can be readily seen in even 8x glasses, now.


Yes, I had a superb view in daylight today at 3p.m. with my 8x40 binoculars. Venus appeared as a beautiful silver/white
crescent on a blue background, just stunningly superb.

#16 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 03:28 PM

I had a quick look at Venus yesterday evening, after returning from dinner at a local eatery. As seen through my 80mm f/5 Orion ST80 refractor and 8-24mm Vixen and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom eyepieces, Venus was a thin crescent of considerable angular size. Earth's sister planet was illuminated a bit less than 10% and subtended almost 55 arc seconds.

By way of comparison, Jupiter subtended less than 47 arc aseconds as it rose in the east-northeast.

http://www.skyandtel...in-Crescent-...

Dave Mitsky

#17 kenrenard

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

I viewed the thin crescent yesterday afternoon and was able to show relative who had never seen Venus, it really is a lovely site even in binoculars. I used my 72mm refractor and also tried a W11 filter and thought I saw a bit more detail.


Hope everyone can get some good views of the thin crescent.


Cheers,

Ken

#18 hokkaido53

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:55 PM

I had a quick look at Venus yesterday evening, after returning from dinner at a local eatery. As seen through my 80mm f/5 Orion ST80 refractor and 8-24mm Vixen and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom eyepieces, Venus was a thin crescent of considerable angular size. Earth's sister planet was illuminated a bit less than 10% and subtended almost 55 arc seconds.

By way of comparison, Jupiter subtended less than 47 arc aseconds as it rose in the east-northeast.

http://www.skyandtel...in-Crescent-...

Dave Mitsky


I spied the Venusian crescent on Christmas night, using a 12mm Nagler eyepiece, at a power of 170x. It was about 15 - 20 degrees above the southwest horizon, but the air was very still there, so the crescent appeared sharply defined.

#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:19 AM

I had another look at Venus on Thursday evening using my 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 achromatic refractor and 8-24mm Vixen (17 to 50x) and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler (67 to 133x) zoom eyepieces under mediocre conditions. The rapidly-sinking planet spanned more than 56 arc seconds and was less than 8% illuminated.

I was able to discern Venus as a crescent fairly readily through 10x50 Celestron Ultima and once or twice through 8x42 Celestron Regal binoculars.

My wife and I set up the Orion ST 80 achromatic refractor and observed Venus again on Friday evening using the two zoom eyepieces. Venus was illuminated just 7% and subtended 56.9 arc seconds at the time. My wife remarked that it was the thinnest crescent Venus that she had ever seen.

I could see Venus as a crescent through a 8x22 monocular that I'd received as a Christmas present from my sister-in-law.

Dave Mitsky

#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:58 AM

On Saturday evening, my wife and I had the time to pull the smallest one of our Dobs, a 6" f/8 Orion SkyQuest XT6, out of the garage in order to observe our "sister" planet. The skies had started to grow cloudy earlier in the afternoon but were clear enough at sunset to warrant the effort. My 8-24mm Vixen zoom eyepiece produced a range of magnifications of 50 to 150x with the XT6. My 5mm Nagler Type 6 boosted the power to 240x.

Venus had an apparent diameter of 57.6 arc seconds and was illuminated just 6.2% at the time.

We invited one of our neighbors to have a look. She was fascinated by what she saw.

I went inside to grab my Canon PowerShot SD980 IS camera and returned to take a number of quick afocal photos of Venus as it began to slide down into the treeline in the southwest. Here's one of the better ones, showing just a bit of atmospheric prismatic dispersion.

http://www.astropix...._Dispersion.HTM

Dave Mitsky

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#21 hokkaido53

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:11 AM

Nice photo, Dave.

Roy

#22 Centaur

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:52 PM

Venus will soon be dropping out of the evening sky. The new crescent Moon will appear in its vicinity to start the new year. Inferior conjunction comes on January 11. Get your evening viewing in now. Although if you are an early bird, later this month you can spot it as The Morning Star. Who here will be the first to do so?

Expect UFO reports from the clueless who think they have witnessed a flying saucer popping into the predawn sky. I'll soon be changing my Venus preview chart and accompanying article to feature the planet's upcoming morning apparition: www.CurtRenz.com/venus






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