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Venus 2018 in the evening

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#1 NEOhio

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:05 PM

I don't observe in the am and got my first telescope in late May 2016, so the evening apparition of Venus last spring was my first significant observing of the planet. I enjoyed following its progression naked eye, and observing the crescent in the telescope. As you may recall, it got pretty high in the sky. But, it was also gone by March 2017, and January-to-mid-March is not exactly prime observing time in northeast Ohio.

 

I know everyone is focused on the Mars opposition this year and reasonably so, but according to the 2018 S&T Skygazer's Almanac Venus should be up past evening astronomical twilight from April through early August, i.e. over four months during a period when around here we get at least occasional clear nights. On the other hand, based on a quick Stellarium simulation I ran, it does not look like it will get very high in the sky, I suppose due to the late summer sunsets, especially compared with what I recall from the spring 2017 apparition. 

 

Any thoughts on what we/I can expect? 


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#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:09 PM

It is not going to get as high as last year. That was an exceptional Northern Hemisphere apparition. It started out low, moving across the southern horizon each night, then shot high in the sky. This one will be more typical.


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#3 jrkorman

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 09:22 PM

This evening viewed Mercury and Venus in the Western Sky. Nice clear viewing after several days of quite cloudy weather here in Texas.



#4 Special Ed

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:13 PM

NEOhio,

 

You'll want to look at Venus early in the evening, even before sunset.  Venus will be highest then with less glare.  You'll get your best views before it gets dark.


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#5 emh52

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:15 PM

The view tonight from Tucson- a nice view of Mercury and Venus, with Mercury presenting a good view for maybe 10-15 min before setting. It will get a bit better in next days, but it is still brief, but nice.

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#6 kcb

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 12:56 AM

saw that view of mercury / venus @ 1.3 degrees too but over a frozen lake, Saturday  night is closer @ 1.1 degrees and sunday night @ 1.2 degrees, sounds promising for clear skies here on Georgian bay, Ontario, Canada, cheers


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#7 jrkorman

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 10:49 PM

Nice view this evening - some thin clouds in the west. Was able to view both all the way to the horizon with binoculars.

med_gallery_290977_8992_207537.jpg


Edited by jrkorman, 03 March 2018 - 10:54 PM.

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#8 nashvillebill

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 11:28 PM

Although it clouded up early this evening, I was briefly able to get both Venus and Mercury in the eyepiece at the same time...nice.  (C102GT, f/10, using a 32 mm FL Plossl)



#9 kcb

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 11:30 PM

saw them too from Georgian bay Ontario, easy naked eyes but used my vixen 2.1x42mm for a neat view of them in the reddish dusk glow


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#10 ssmith

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 09:46 PM

Jim & emh52 - beautiful shots!

 

Due to family commitments I was unable to make it to my preferred observing spot but took my camera & tripod to my daughters house and was able to shoot over the neighboring rooftops and through clouds to get a few shots.  Tried again tonight but was totally clouded out.  Perhaps tomorrow I will have better luck.

 

35188A70-7ECC-43EE-8817-629BD84B175A.jpeg

 

 


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#11 jrkorman

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:55 AM

No clouds in the sky this evening - trying for the same time each evening [20180304 19:11 CST].

med_gallery_290977_8992_512989.jpg

 

Just before the planets reached the horizon, here about 1/2 degrees [20180304 19:35 CST].

med_gallery_290977_8992_219834.jpg


Edited by jrkorman, 05 March 2018 - 11:56 AM.

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#12 Jim Davis

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:50 AM

We had a gorgeous night last night. A group of us were at our observatory watching Venus and Mercury set. Could see it right to the top of the distant hills. Nice to not have any haze in the way.



#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:22 AM

I was one of the ASH members who observed Mercury and Venus From the Naylor Observatory through Jim's 80mm f/6 Explore Scientific refractor on Sunday evening.  Neither planet was visible to the unaided eye at that point and both fit easily into a low power field of view.  Mercury and Venus were about one degree apart at the time.
 
Afterwards, I viewed the two inner planets through the 5" f/5 achromat that serves as a finder scope for the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain housed in the French Dome, as well as the 17".  Both planets exhibited the effects of atmospheric prismatic dispersion vividly.  Venus was illuminated 98% and Mercury 85%.
 
Using my iPhone 6s and Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera, I took a few photos of Mercury and Venus, some of them afocally through the 5" and 17".
 
Dave Mitsky

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3-4-18 Mercury & Venus 5-inch IMG_0061 CN.JPG
  • 3-4-18 Mercury 17-inch IMG_0066-002 CN.JPG
  • 3-4-18 Venus 17-inch IMG_0077-003 CN.JPG
  • IMG_7474-001 CN.JPG

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#14 ssmith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:30 AM

Last night clouds continue to hug the horizon but sill got a nice shot. Perhaps tonite the clouds will clear out and give me a chance at a clear horizon.

 

4E109F67-D664-447D-A252-F77585C90F51.jpeg

 

 


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#15 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:43 AM

Last night clouds continue to hug the horizon but sill got a nice shot. Perhaps tonite the clouds will clear out and give me a chance at a clear horizon.

 

attachicon.gif 4E109F67-D664-447D-A252-F77585C90F51.jpeg

Your photo gives an impression of flying above the cloud. 



#16 ssmith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:09 AM

Dave - 

 

In your picture through the finder scope it looks like you also captured an image of 20 Pisces which is a double star.  Your image shows a bit of elongation along the correct bearing angle.  See the attached Sky Safari image for comparison.

 

F434CAC8-2A81-46AB-8B32-A3DFE9D1831B.jpeg


Edited by ssmith, 06 March 2018 - 10:14 AM.


#17 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:53 PM

That spot is where some dirt was on either the eyepiece or the objective lens that I removed by using a retouching function.
 
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#18 ssmith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:39 PM

Dave - Shhhh !!!   looks like a Star to me - Kudos for a great shot. wink.gif



#19 ssmith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:14 PM

From tonite - Finally the the clouds departed,  leaving a clear horizon:

 

49662994-7C9E-453D-9B36-58997256EFCE.jpeg


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#20 jrkorman

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:44 PM

Nice to see that some folks have been able to see the past couple of days, some very nice shots!

We've had partial to full overcast cirrus the past two days so little observing.



#21 eps0mu0

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:32 AM

I saw Venus and Mercury Sunday evening 3/4, around 6:30pm PST. Easy to see, low over the horizon. But no chance to grab camera and shoot. We had low clouds the next two nights. Tonight (3/7) there was a break. Managed to catch both Venus and Mercury as the dropped between two cloud banks. Shot is with a Sony A6 (yes, I know all about the star eater software... but apparently it doesn't eat planets!). ISO=2500, 1/60s sec exposure, f.l.=200mm, f=6.3. Time of photo is ~6:40pm PST. Photo has been "lightly" processed (adjusted gamma slightly), reduced image size and compressed (80%) to bring it below 100k in size. I realize this is a visual observing forum... I watched the two planets visually on two nights. Tonight it was obvious Mercury had moved higher, increasing the gap between the two.

Regards,

J.F.

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#22 Special Ed

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:56 AM

From tonite - Finally the the clouds departed,  leaving a clear horizon:

 

attachicon.gif 49662994-7C9E-453D-9B36-58997256EFCE.jpeg

Steve,

 

What was the time of this image and the altitude of the planets?



#23 ssmith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:15 PM

Hi Michael -

 

The photo has a time stamp of 6:38pm but I found that my camera clock was off by about +4 minutes (me bad) so the actual time would be closer to 6:34pm.

 

According to SkySafari Venus would have been ~5 deg above the horizon at that time, but my local horizon due to the mountains is about +1.5 to 2.0 deg.  So as shown in the photo Venus is about 3.5 deg above the mountains with Mercury about 1.5 deg above Venus (according to SkySafari) which scales about right on the photo.

 

Here is a photo that same evening with Venus right on the Horizon.  The corrected time stamp for this photo is 6:54:28pm with SkySafari predicting a set time of 7:02:20pm.  With the unevenness of the horizon and the clock correction all of these time values could be off by as much as a minute.

 

Venus-Mercury 300mm 3-6-18 137 scaled.jpg


Edited by ssmith, 08 March 2018 - 01:30 PM.

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#24 Special Ed

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:40 PM

Thanks, Steve.  The mountains to my west block ~5 degrees of horizon so I would have a hard time catching the pairing.  I'm used to this.  Also used to clouds all the time--sad, isn't it?  bawling.gif 


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#25 ssmith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:47 PM

Michael - 

 

The pair is visible much higher in the sky, my picture was chosen simply because it’s proximity to the horizon provided a pleasing composition.  I was able to first photograph the pair 17 minutes earlier than the posted picture.  If your local horizon is higher then your twilight will begin a bit earlier (4 min/deg of elevation).




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