20060201 - Venus, No go
This morning I stepped out from the office to look for Venus. From the window the sky was clear and blue, some tufts of white. Walked down to north side of 42nd St. in front of the CUNY building, across the street from Bryant Park. I looked for the shadow line where a tall building left an impression and blocked the Sun. Using my hand to measure off some 27.5* in a 2:00 ~ 2:30 location relative to Sun, I searched above a building top. After spending 10 minutes or so, I gave up not being able to detect it.
The security guards became curious, approaching me to ask if they could help me, I poliltely told them that I was looking for Venus. He shrugged not really understanding, but I was left to my own to throw my hand in the air, thumb and pinky spanning the distant buildings - then 3 fingers more.
A pair of bins could have helped because I didn't know how the brightness of Venus would appear. The last times I saw Venus during the daytime were early December. Not much effort was required then. Today there was no brilliant 'star'. In spite of a discouraging weather forecast, I'll be packing a pair of bins hoping that a clear moment will arise. Once I see it, I'll know how to set my expectations.
One artefact from the brief session was seeing clouds form from almost nothing. Swirls and white stuff coagulating to larger tufts and floating away. Simplicity.