Daytime View of Venus

The evening views of Venus high in the western sky have been beautiful. It shines bright and strong reflecting sunlight from its dense atmosphere. Today, the sky here was exceptionally clear and blue offering an opportunity to view bright Venus in the daytime. Software said it would be passing due south at about 3:40 pm and be elevated 75˚ above the horizon. I mounted the camera on a tripod and positioned myself below the edge of the roofline which points south. It was easy to find the bright speck of light from Venus against the blue sky.

Next, I put the camera in video mode and slowly panned upward along the edge of the roofline seen at the right edge. This 10 sec clip shows the planet moving from top to bottom slightly right of center. If you are viewing with a mobile phone, it might not be visible. It clearly shows on a computer monitor. That roaring sound is not Venus. It is the neighbor mowing his lawn. 🙂

Venus Passes Pleiades

Venus has risen high in the evening sky and is a very bright beautiful sight. During the evenings of April 1 – 5, it passed through the star cluster Pleiades. This short video made with desktop software shows the passage over the course of those nights.

Skies were clear enough for me to get an image on the 1st and the 4th. I did a copy-paste to place Venus in one frame for both dates. At the bottom of the image is the April 1st location. It is surrounded by a haze due to some thin cloud cover.

Exposure was a challenge since Venus was so bright compared to the Pleiades. I zoomed all the way in on Venus and exposed for it alone. That revealed the shape much like that of a waxing or waning moon. The sun’s position is to the lower right of Venus in this frame.


One additional event of interest was on the evening of April 5th. The space station passed overhead and came very close to occulting the star Pollux in the constellation Gemini. High thin clouds made it hard to see the stars. Exposure adjustments of the image helped bring them out.

Taken with NightCap. ISS mode, 90.79 second exposure

Moon Visits the Planets

The sky has been graced by four planets in recent weeks shortly after sunset. Farthest west has been Venus. Next toward the east has been Jupiter, then fainter Saturn, and brilliant Mars in the southeast. This view from Starry Nite desktop software shows their arrangement in mid-August soon after sunset.

Click embiggen

The Moon was a new thin crescent on 11 Sep soon after sunset here photographed by Heiko Ulbricht in Germany.

Heiko Ulbricht | September 11, 2018 | @ Mt. Lerchenberg, Saxony, Germany

Each successive night after 11 Sep, the Moon appeared farther east in the evening sky as it orbited Earth. Our weather forecast predicted a series of clear days which gave me hope of capturing an image of the Moon near each of the four planets during the coming week.

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