Hello, admirers of Venus
What a late afternoon and night I had last Wednesday 25th March in my back garden!
I had set up my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor at about 5 pm. Temperatures ranged from 9 to 4 degrees Celsius as the night wore on. There was no wind at all.
Sunset occurred at 18.48 UT
Guide 9.1 DVD provides these figures for Venus.
I could see Venus with my own eyes right at the very start at 17 UT. She has a magnitude of -4.5. Her distance was 105 million kms and closing. Her angular diameter was 23.8". But most importantly of all, she was 50.7% illuminated. Today Thursday she will be 50% lit. I soon discovered there was very little shimmering as I increased the magnifications. My highest was 280X with a William Optics 4 mm eyepiece. But what I want to ask you is this: has anyone noticed that her cusps are now very slightly extended? Try it over the next 2 to 5 days. I still don't see any dark shadings in Venus' clouds. But maybe they will come soon. She still looks most majestic.