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Venus in Very Good Seeing.

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#1 David Gray

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 10:04 AM

Venus is always a revelation when viewed as in the steadily improving conditions on this date; more hazy later. Not caught it at all since; and with Storm Ciara and  the continuing prospect of stormy days (Storm Dennis) into next week has me posting what I have so far......

 

The features depicted were readily seen – tho’ more coarsely – in the 76mm (3”) at 80x & 160x – and still rather too bright in the latter.  Stopping down to 40mm gave about the right level of brightness at 160x – features even more ‘chunky’ but well apparent.....floater sufferers beware.......!

 

The sky reasonably clear but milky-bright and once again the Baader Neodymium was a help crisping the view....Having lately added a 1.25” version to the filter collection (already a 2”) for more stacking investigations – even Neo+Neo!

 

Oddly for all I find the Neos seem to cut through that milky daylight haze with Venus, I recently tried in daylight to catch the low-sun shadows on crater Plato’s floor.

 

Disappointingly, even paired, the Neos failed to cut through the haze. Near lunar first quarter (90º max polarizing of sunlight) a single polarizer works well. Bright haze tends to defeat that but got a fair view adding a Neo also.

 

In the increasingly hazed sky the non-filter view of Venus...brightness reduced to a more comfortable level...was a beautiful sight and a pastel rendering was decided upon....couldn’t resist!

 

Dave.

EDIT: I see that file compression has flattened the contrasts and tonalities somewhat....so here a second attempt!

Venus 2020 Feb 6 r.jpg

 

 

 


Edited by David Gray, 12 February 2020 - 07:22 AM.

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#2 niteskystargazer

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 03:31 PM

Dave,

 

Nice sketches of Venus (In Very Good Seeing) smile.gif .

 

CS,KLU,

 

thanx.gif ,

 

Tom


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#3 frank5817

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:16 PM

David,

 

Excellent sketching. The pastel sketch and the detail in the color filtered sketches are wonderful.

 

Frank :).


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#4 sunnyday

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 08:25 PM

very good sketching.


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#5 Reptilicus

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:39 PM

Great work here Dave. I must give the Neodymium filter a try on Venus. I have one and only used it when the Moon was near first quarter. 
 

Bill


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#6 flt158

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 07:16 AM

Delightful sketches, Dave!

 

We have a very distinctive gibbous phased Venus here for sure. 

I wonder what percentage of Venus was illuminated on 11th February 2020. 

I'm sure someone will tell us. 

Those storms Ciara and Dennis are causing havoc over here in Ireland. 

When will they end?fingertap.gif

 

All the best from Aubrey. 


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#7 David Gray

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:35 AM

Many Thanks Tom, Frank, James, Bill, Aubrey.....and to those who Liked...........smile.gif

 

Storm Ciara center passed well north of here but was so large we still got a bit of a whack.......Dennis seems similar in track and size........hoping it’s not Dennis the Menace.......Dave.

We have a very distinctive gibbous phased Venus here for sure. 

 

I wonder what percentage of Venus was illuminated on 11th February 2020. 

All the best from Aubrey. 

Aubrey the phase on Feb 11 was almost 70%.

 

Most decent sky software seems to offer that information......I mostly use WinJUPOS.....below is a Link and some guidance I have given to others as it is not immediately obvious how to get started.  If you decide to use it that is.

 

On the attached graphic I have used separate Corel screen-shots to cobble  onto the Graphics Page sections of a couple of drop-downs (marked with a red ‘D’) – i.e. not all visible simultaneously.  Happy to help further if requested.

 

Safe Download here...... http://www.grischa-h...os_download.htm

 

It is mainly oriented for imagers but a lot of useful stuff for us visual guys. 

 

In spite of a possibly perplexing first impression on first opening it is really pretty straightforward...

 

First a blank grey display area: so click on ‘Program’ see a drop-down...click ‘Celestial body’ for a list of planets (inc. Sun & Moon).......

 

Click on desired object.....still a grey/blank screen!....

 

Go to ‘Tools’ click ‘Ephemerides’ and the body will appear.

 

Cheers,
Dave.

WinJ Venus 2.jpg


Edited by David Gray, 13 February 2020 - 10:53 AM.

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#8 Asbytec

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:42 PM

David, I see Venus like so many others as an overly bright boiling image of whatever phase it happens to exhibit. I really need to improve on that, just to see anything. Thanks for sharing. 



#9 David Gray

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:07 AM

Thanks Norme......assuming you are looking at the planet when it’s at a fair altitude, and shaded from the sun, I find I perplexing you are getting such a turbulent views.

 

A funny thing with the initial conditions on the date reported here is that the view with the 3-inch was sort of ‘choppy’-turbulent; but, the same time, a decent shimmering-disk in the big scope...!!  I can only think that the co-mounted 3” was being affected by the breeze-borne exterior currents off the D-K....Perhaps it was off the reflective polystyrene boiler jacket mounted like a dew-cap on the big scope, as the sun was still some 30-mins from going beyond the rooftop.

 

As for glare: best to view it in full daylight; in my own case dawn to late morning where rising terrain to the n’east delays sunrise up to 40 minutes;  and especially mid-afternoon with the sun hidden behind the house.  Then it’s down to some sort of filtration – perhaps more than you might think. For e.g. using 160x on the 3” refractor (unfiltered) is still bright enough to wash out all but the more contrasty shadings, cusp caps, and much of the terminator duskiness for me.  I sat on the fence with the reality of Venus features for years because I failed to effectively counter that glare. 

 

On this SSO Thread I detailed the ‘extremes’ I go to with the 16.3” D-K to get the right level for me......... https://www.cloudyni...enus/?p=9976232

 

Dave.


Edited by David Gray, 17 February 2020 - 08:08 AM.


#10 David Gray

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 03:30 PM

At first on that bright Tuesday afternoon there was essentially a lower well broken cloud deck with somewhat patchy/streaked cirrus-type cloud above.  Very variable transparency but this proved ideal in the very steady definition to get that non-filter view of unmistakable Venus cloud striations. Later that afternoon - the cloud thinning - I was able to get those filter views; but throughout that session the earlier *cloud filter* view was minding me of similar experiences ........as I said recently on an SSO thread.........

 

https://www.cloudyni...us/?p=9976232  

 

“The markings are very real in good seeing; but in poorer are more likely to be turbulence-induced *seeing-shadows* I have determined.  In fact I resist sketching the planet in seeing poorer than mid-scale: Antoniadi III /Pickering ~5.  There may well be the stronger of the real features peeking to combine with spurious in those poorer levels...but beyond some academic consideration best rejected in IMO; or noted with appropriate cautionaries if need of a sketch is felt otherwise useful

 

When well seen what lends strongly to their reality in that very good definition is that they start to show their conformity with the spherical body of the planet; and we see we are looking at, not a mere flat  disk, crescent etc., but that it is an actual globe.....An impression that puts it among the most beautiful planetary sights I’ve ever had....and can never fully capture that in my renderings.”

 

Up until 1991 I had always been on the fence re. reality of Venus features I’d recorded for years when one very foggy November morning I caught sight of the planet glimmering fitfully through what was a very clean-looking white mist.  That suggested to me 'clean' very steady air.....getting the D-K on it the seeing was about as perfect as I had ever seen. 

 

What confronted me was a gibbous-phased globe with the most delicately diaphanous striations.  As I recall were more fleeting and delicate than I depict in the white light view here.  Their fitful showing not the seeing back then (1991); but the rapidly varying transparency through that otherwise helpful veil and the rapidly dewing of the D-K optical window an additional concern (scope soon dripping wet).  That wet condition of the scope was too worrying to continue on and always regretted not doing even a retrospective sketch.

 

Later similar non-filter views have always given a warmish pale brown-ochre/fawnish hue impression with those darker features.....perhaps the reason for their better visibility in strong blue filters.

 

Now I’m minded to do that 1991 retrospective sketch and enlarge on the shortened version of the experience told here.  Maybe the seeds of a later thread is sprouting.....say......... *Venus Through Nature’s Own Filter*.......Dave.

Venus 2020 Feb 25.jpg


Edited by David Gray, 27 February 2020 - 03:41 PM.

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#11 Reptilicus

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 07:20 PM

First Dave...amazing! I noticed the northern polar region terminator in your sketch appears slightly straight compared to the remaining gentle arc of the gibbous phase. Hope I’m seeing that right! I’ve observed this “feature” many times. At times I’m skeptical of my own eyes. I’m always ready to dismiss Venusian markings as spurious features initiated by local seeing conditions. I force myself to wait for a moment of steady air to “confirm” their existence. I police myself to be true to the observational sketch. But that northern terminator feature always seems to present itself especially when Venus is at roughly 55% to 70% illumination (waxing or waning)...optical illusion driven by the effects light and shadow play...maybe. Interesting nevertheless! I will not hijack the thread with my sketches and field notes, however, it is safe to say I regularly observe this “feature”. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

BTW the Neodymium stacked with my standard filtration is proving to be a useful tool. Thanks!

 

Bill


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#12 frank5817

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:49 PM

David,

 

All three sketches look very fine. The detail must surely be there as sketched.

 

Frank :)



#13 David Gray

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:30 AM

Thanks Bill, Frank...........

 I noticed the northern polar region terminator in your sketch appears slightly straight compared to the remaining gentle arc of the gibbous phase. Hope I’m seeing that right! I’ve observed this “feature” many times. 

Bill I’d be honoured to see your work posted here....... smile.gif

 

If you mean the white-light pastel rendering; as regard to that it was not so meticulously ‘maintained’ as with the HB pencil filter views due to pastel-stumping issues.  With that I was struggling a bit trying to get that observed sky hue blended onto the terminator shading.  On the attached I have superimposed the actual theoretical phase over the sketch: while I can claim that the apparent phase has been fairly addressed there - sort of......i.e. differs from predicted due to the deep shading there – as in *dichotomy with true half-phase..........Also getting a good 'scan' (camera shot) of pastel work is always trickier with contrasts, hues etc.....Good camera, and I guess there will be a better setting among the myriad of options.......crazyeyes.gif

 

However I think it could be irradiation of the brighter cusp region that might give rise to that curvature departure you report.  If you take a look at my earlier renderings on my OP: note that brighter roundish region in the South Cusp adjoining the terminator  which in lesser seeing spells seemed to actually bulge out beyond the terminator

 

The closer view here gives a clearer warts and all view of the stumping efforts/struggles as compared to the neater limb side.  Also the right hand graphic I attempt to convey the outline used at the scope (pencil smaller scale than for pastel work). This is simply a semicircle to which, at the scope, I sketch the semi-ellipse representing the judged phase side.  The dotted lines are sections not present on the paper.

 

Edit: Oops forgot the neodymium...good to know you find it working with the stacking.  A few more I’m planning to try when/if the weather ever allows.......... 

 

Please feel free to post your work on here in case I misread what you meant..........Cheers,  Dave.

Venus PH.jpg


Edited by David Gray, 28 February 2020 - 10:36 AM.

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#14 Asbytec

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:26 AM

David, sorry I missed your reply. Yea, two problems. The first is too bright for my liking, maybe some higher magnification or a filter of some sort. The second one is seeing right at or just after sunset trying to catch Venus as high in the sky as possible. 

 

I am sure I can get a better view, it just takes some know how to do it. I don't know how, never tried much because the views have always been too bright and often seeing is not cooperating...enough. But, you're doing something right. Amazing observations. And sketches...



#15 David Gray

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:42 AM

Thanks Norme......

 

Yes I underestimated that glare vs those delicate shadings for a long time: what I say in  Post #10

re. that foggy 1991 experience set me on track.  Tho' took me till 1997 to address things!

 

I have a thread in draft detailing the matter more fully.

 

Dave.


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#16 flt158

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:24 PM

Excellent sketches, David!

I too was observing Venus on that particular Tuesday evening at a measly 112X through my William Optics 158 mm apochromatic refractor with its WO 70 mm small apo attached. 

I had the additional joy of seeing the true binary Zeta Piscium 2 degrees south of the brightest planet at 40X.

Both celestial objects were visible in both scopes in the same field of view.  

The view was stunning in my large scope and even the little scope was splitting Zeta Piscium at 11X.  

It turned to be my first conjunction of 2020! 

I saw no detail in the Venusian clouds however. 

 

My Guide 9.1 DVD informed me that Venus was sporting a 63.6% lit disc and has a current magnitude of -4.3 - which at the time was brighter than the 2.1 day old Moon. 

It was visible very soon after sunset. The Moon's magnitude was -4.

 

How cool is that?  

 

Clear skies after Storm Jorge to you, David, 

 

Aubrey. 


Edited by flt158, 28 February 2020 - 01:27 PM.

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#17 Reptilicus

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 11:54 PM

However I think it could be irradiation of the brighter cusp region that might give rise to that curvature departure you report.  If you take a look at my earlier renderings on my OP: note that brighter roundish region in the South Cusp adjoining the terminator  which in lesser seeing spells seemed to actually bulge out beyond the terminator

David, 

 

Sorry...I was referring to the white light pastel sketch. Irradiation makes sense. It’s effects can be persuasive and can easily fool the eye. Factor in oblique solar illumination and local seeing conditions and suddenly the mix becomes convoluted. Typically, I find the northern polar spot to have a slightly muted brightness as compared to its southern counterpart. The slight departure from curvature almost always appears in the northern polar region of the terminator where I also find polar disk shading to be slightly more pronounced. The sketch below was completed on 23 February while Venus drifted from daylight into civil, and finally nautical twilight. This was the second sketch of Venus on the same day...I have been doubling up on my observations of her trying to take advantage of increasing declination and mild temperatures. Incidentally, not a fan of observing her in a darkening or dark sky. Daylight all the way! 
 

As always David, your input is greatly appreciated waytogo.gif

Bill

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#18 Reptilicus

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 12:07 AM

Excellent sketches, David!

I too was observing Venus on that particular Tuesday evening at a measly 112X through my William Optics 158 mm apochromatic refractor with its WO 70 mm small apo attached. 

I had the additional joy of seeing the true binary Zeta Piscium 2 degrees south of the brightest planet at 40X.

Both celestial objects were visible in both scopes in the same field of view.  

The view was stunning in my large scope and even the little scope was splitting Zeta Piscium at 11X.  

It turned to be my first conjunction of 2020! 

I saw no detail in the Venusian clouds however. 

 

My Guide 9.1 DVD informed me that Venus was sporting a 63.6% lit disc and has a current magnitude of -4.3 - which at the time was brighter than the 2.1 day old Moon. 

It was visible very soon after sunset. The Moon's magnitude was -4.

 

How cool is that?  

 

Clear skies after Storm Jorge to you, David, 

 

Aubrey. 

Aubrey,

 

Some of my most memorable views of Venus have come through my William Optics 151 FLT. I did a review on it a couple of years ago here on Cloudy Nights. The above sketch (post #17) was done with a WO 110mm TMB triplet. I enjoy using his refractors. William is a real gentleman. 

 

Bill
 


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#19 David Gray

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 10:48 AM

Thanks for posting your work here Bill......I’m stalled with Storm Jorge passing over us; too late for Venus, but seems some hope of getting out tonight.....and even Mars the morrow.....

 

Not ever seen through WO scopes but I can guess the quality if my two 2” WO Amicis (45º & 90º) are to go by....the 90º is routinely (semi-permanent!) on the 16.3” D-K and of course it being f/16-f/18 is kinder to prisms (inc. binoviewers), even the 45º is very useable. Both are quite tolerable, the 90º especially, on the SW 120 f/5 refractor at low to moderate magnifications.  Quality makes the difference!

 

Looking on ALPO Japan this morning I see still no imagery for Feb 25 (my last observation date); BUT a few for the 29th ( 1x4 day cloud deck rotation) and I’m pleased to see a general agreement with my Feb 25 views.  Of course a dynamic atmosphere and smaller cloud structure changes........even so the general circulation-pattern endures for some rotations.

 

Thus I am pleased to see the comparison with the 29th imagery.......Especially pleased as I had told my wife my recorded features were so certain that if those impressions were not backed by imagery I might well quit with Venus.  She was quite thrilled seeing the detail broadly as similar to mine and no prompting from me at all.....she would quickly (sternly!) have stopped me if I had......

 

This Link here to compare to the reposted attachment from Post #10 here.....Dave.

 

http://alpo-j.sakura...0/v200229b1.jpg

 

Venus 2020 Feb 25.jpg


Edited by David Gray, 01 March 2020 - 10:53 AM.

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#20 ricksmith

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 12:15 PM

Nice sketch 4 day increments from you sketch February 14,22, and 26th 2020 155 mm refractor Hgm200 mount TV radian 5,8, DRLITE 3, 4, and 7 mm EPs for a range of 135 to 362x Baader planetary filters set (all) Color pencil composite of multiple sketches sketches: yellow/orange=browns, red, blue and green applied

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#21 ricksmith

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 12:42 PM

I've been experimenting with blending the transmitted colors. The color wheel blends show brown with some green and red in the bands. The triangular ? Equatorial area is lighter. These ie out of your 4 day sequence show the equatorial area bending to the the left ie diagonal used

#22 ricksmith

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 12:43 PM

I've been experimenting with blending the transmitted colors. The color wheel blends show brown with some green and red in the bands. The triangular ? Equatorial area is lighter. These ie out of your 4 day sequence show the equatorial area bending to the the left ie diagonal used

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#23 David Gray

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:24 AM

Great seeing with Venus yesterday and last night for doubles etc. and up at 5 a.m. this morning hopeful for  similar with Mars; fair detail noted but too soft/hazed for purpose.  Still: now entering the good-seeing season here seems on track; tho’ Mars likely lost in brighter morning twilight of April skies I guess.  My future early-rising now likely to be for Jupiter and soon joined by Saturn hopefully.

 

With Venus recently I have embarked on trials with various filters & combos (stacking) but a lot of developing mid-afternoon high cirrus has been hampering things a bit.

 

So have continued with ‘non-filter’ views – yesterday’s was just previous to a cirrus incursion (some filter work before/after)....  Posted here is a comparison with yesterday’s non-filter rendering and one of the rather nice views Neodymium is giving.  The double-stacked view here (March 16) is using the recently obtained 1.25” paired with the 2”: the latter in the opposite end of the Amici and the smaller in the binovu nose.

 

Note that the views are of different (cloud-top – CMII) longitudes – thus not a direct detail for detail comparison.  Not a lot of colour differentiation with this planet and the Neo renders the darker features somewhat greyer and the overall hue even less yellow.  Even so I certainly recommend this filter for Venus detail......

 

Forecast was spot on (clouding) for Venus this afternoon; my hunch to the contrary being dead wrong....this time....and planet over the rooftops by 16:30 UT (4:30 p.m. here) and satellite imagery shows thicker cloud imminent.......

 

Dave.

Venus 2020 March 16 March 22.jpg

 

 


Edited by David Gray, 23 March 2020 - 04:54 PM.

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#24 tleroy1

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:32 AM

Great sketches David and great discussion everyone.

 

I was able to see Venus twice last week and could see the terminator as drawn.

 

Kind regards,

 

Ted



#25 Randolph Jay

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 11:16 AM

Wonderful work and interesting thread!
Thank you all!
Randolph


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