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Venus
(2013-12-15 18:07)


About this Object

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has no natural satellite. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of -4.6, bright enough to cast shadows in very dark locations. Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, its maximum elongation from the Sun is 47.8 degrees. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it has been referred to by ancient cultures as the Morning Star or Evening Star. Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's 'sister planet' because of their similar size, gravity, and bulk composition.

About this Image

The Fall-Winter 2013 apparition of Venus was not a very good one, because Venus was never very far above the Horizon. This is because Venus never wanders very far from the Sun, and the Sun is lower in the sky during the Winter. These two effects cause Venus to set rather soon after sunset, which required me to rush to capture an image before loosing Venus in the treeline. Work to capture this image began as soon as it was sufficiently dark, and Venus was lost in the trees just a few minutes after the capture. There would have been more time to work in a location that had a clear horizon. I hope to capture more images of Venus during this apparition to demonstrate how Venus changes as it orbits the Sun.


--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2013-12-15 18:07:00
UTC: 2013-12-15 22:07:00

--- Location ---
The Ashton Observatory at Johnson Farms, Ashton MD
(Latitude N39.15°, Longitude W77.01°, Elevation 510')

--- Conditions ---
Temperature: 31° Wind: 5mph Marginal seeing

--- Optics ---
Televue NP101is 101mm f/5.35 Refractor with Televue 4x Powermate

--- Camera ---
Celestron NexImage 5

--- Post-Processing ---
Registax (Stacking only)

--- Selected Ephemeris ---
44.44 million miles from Earth and 107.7 million miles from the Sun
Apparent Diameter: 56.14 arcminutes. Magnitude: -4.5
Percent Illuminated: 7.84%. Elongation from Sun: 23.17°



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