Sunday, October 21, 2007

Venus from Drip Rock

Session name: 20071021.1145

A warm Saturday afternoon at Drip Rock. Skies were clear and a light air, temp around 70° F. As has become custom, I was welcomed to the rock by a homeless women whom I have seen on recent sessions. Yards away down the slope of the rock before me were two young girls, one of them unclothed to her underwear to catch the rays of Sol. Unfortunately, she attracted the queer, perverted type of human nature. I made it clear he was not welcome in these parts but he remained. I thought this guy's a pro, definitely not a first-timer. I mentioned to one of the girls about the freak but she looked back and then shrugged him off.

The sky blue background were very clear that once I got my bearings where to look Venus glistened like a shard of glass wanting to be discovered.

When I arrived Venus was already began her descent being at altitude/azimuth ~ 235°/43°. Venus at magnitude -4.4 is in Leo one can expect to see the planet high in the sky as the early Spring ecliptic is still north of the celestial Equator. The sun is 46° east in Virgo.

Seeing was moderate but the light air was enough to shake the scope and the image when observing at 117x. It made it difficult to snap pictures using a 2x barlow with the Plossl 20mm eyepiece. With a size of 26.3" I could see the phase to be just shy of first quarter, slight horns still visible at the waxing tips. Along the sunrise terminator shows a softness in contrast to the crisp hard edge of the limb. In this phase it easy to draw a circle with the mind's eye completing the arc of the bright limb. Planetarium for the Palm reports the venetian phase at 93°44'. Next Saturday, Venus will be at first quarter and almost 2" smaller, and becoming smaller and smaller as she waxes to Full Venus.

Medium camera shot demonstrating how easy Venus is to see. Foreground objects can be of help to orient oneself in the sky, however, it is important to relax the eyes and let them focus to infinity and not the leaves.

A snapshot of Venus with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 3452mm = ( Focal length in 35mm * magnification) = (42.1mm * 82x).

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