Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Venus Occultation, June 2007

Session name: 20070618.1205

I missed the Venus occultation earlier in the day. Actually the probability was very low to see the ingress event because it occurred shortly after Moonrise at 8:54AM EDT. Work prevented observing the egress event which was at a better altitude to swing the likelihood to more favorable odds. Recently, the horizons have been hazy looking so I don't know if anyone observed it. I am waiting for Charlie's report.

Instead, I slipped out of the office a little past noon. It was well past the Venus occultation but wanted to see how easy the ceescent & Venus were to see naked eye. The sky was littered with moving cumulus clouds and swashed with a coat of haze. I consulted PftP and located the overturned crescent with little difficulty. Its contrast with background sky was low. Venus was not as easy which needed bins first. After that I knew where to look and get my focus adjusted. As long as the clouds permitted, Venus persisted naked eye the entire session.

Curious, I asked a couple of guys if they could see the crescent. I pointed out where to look and after a few moments, one said he could see the upside moon. Asking if he could see Venus at one o'clock to the moon and about 3 ~ 4 moon diameters, he said he couldn't. I handed him the bins and then he caught the whole scene. He remarked how bright Venus was but still couldn't see naked eye.

My observation revealed that Venus is substantially brighter as a "point of light" (at 7x magnification) and is whiter than Moon. Side by side, along with the clouds, it is evident that the Moon is not so white.