Tonight

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SkyBrowser
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Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

There's a nice thin crescent Moon hanging in the western sky right now. If it stays clear I'm going to haul the 'scope out and have a better look.

I'm also going to have a quick look, just after sunset, to see if I can spot Venus. It's now setting 25 minutes after the Sun, so it might be doable, though probably only in bins. Still you never know, the old MKI eyeball might come through ...
SkyBrowser
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

Success! At 1918UT I spotted Venus for the first time this apparition with the 8x50s. Held steadily, even though it was in the cloud band that accompanied the setting Sun. Altitude 2°, Sun's altitude -2°. Tried to see it naked-eye, but didn't manage it. However it continued to be easily visible in the bins until 1934UT when it went behind the trees. At this point, according to SkySafari, it was nine arc minutes above the horizon. It looked to me to be a little more, maybe a quarter of a degree or so.

This is the first time I've seen Venus in the western sky since May 29th 2020, when I saw it just five days before inferior conjunction. I think I could have got it the next day too, but it was cloudy from then on!

Anybody else seen it yet?
nigeljoslin
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Re: Tonight

Post by nigeljoslin »

I haven't seen it yet, Skybrowser, but I'll be trying soon. I believe Mercury will also be putting in an evening appearance too, around about the end of the month.

I love its mellow hue.

Best wishes,

Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
SkyBrowser
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

I reckon St George's Day (23rd) is a good time to start looking for Mercury. It'll be setting about 30 minutes after the sun, and will share the same binocular FOV with Venus. Find one and you've found the other! Uranus is also there, sitting between M & V on the 23rd, but it'll be too faint to be seen.
nigeljoslin
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Re: Tonight

Post by nigeljoslin »

Thanks for the tip off, Skybrowser. I'll walk up a nearby hill with my binoculars.
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

Last night (Friday April 23rd) I spotted Venus easily, in the 8x50s, low down, about 3° above the horizon, playing hide and seek amongst the cloud bands. Couldn't see it naked eye. No sign of Mercury.

Cloud prevented any observing tonight, but I hope to get Venus naked-eye, and Mercury through the bins fairly soon, weather permitting.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

Tonight, Sunday 25th, I got both Venus and Mercury in the bins at 1941UT. I estimated Venus to be 3° above the horizon, and Mercury about 1.5° up and to the right (north). TS6 says 3.2° and 1.2°.

Hung around until 1953UT (very cold east wind!) hoping to catch Venus naked-eye, but no joy. As it got darker Venus sank into the cloud bands, and while it, and Mercury, were still easy in the 8x50s I couldn't get Venus naked-eye. Maybe tomorrow :)
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

Monday 26th April - saw Venus again in the 8x50s, amidst much bright red cloud. The cloud looked a little like Jupiter's cloud belt seen through a large 'scope! Unable to get it naked-eye. Couldn't find Mercury in the bins, so either it's exploded or crashed into the Sun or it was hiding behind the clouds. Given lack of headlines in today's papers I'm inclined to go with the cloud explanation.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

Went out looking for Venus and Mercury again. Lots of (red) cloud drifting along the horizon from the north.

1939UT : Venus, in the bins, about 8° above the horizon. Easy.
1945UT : starting to get naked-eye glimpses.
1948UT : got Venus naked-eye! Faint, but there. The first naked-eye view this apparition.
1952UT : too much cloud at the moment.
1954UT : 4° above the horizon in bins.
2000UT : easy in bins. Can't see Mercury.
2005UT : Mercury, in the bins, about 7° high, looking as bright as Venus did in the lighter sky earlier.
2009UT : Venus now hopelessly lost behind the thickening clouds.
2016UT : too cold - calling it a day!

Has anybody else been looking for out for the two inner planets?
michael feist
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Re: Tonight

Post by michael feist »

Currently lots of clouds , bits of murkiness etc. here in the 'Land of the South Saxons' [Sussex]. In addition the Sunset cannot be seen from the house or garden presently because a huge Evergreen Tree on the opposite side of the Close requiring a very short walk to the adjacent Park c/w an instrument. Given a good sky and reasonably clement weather will investigate. regards mike
jeff.stevens
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Re: Tonight

Post by jeff.stevens »

SkyBrowser wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 2:04 pm [snip]...1939UT : Venus, in the bins, about 8° above the horizon. Easy......[snip]
Nice obs SkyBrowser. Thanks for the timings too, I’ll have a go.

Best wishes, Jeff.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Tonight

Post by SkyBrowser »

The timings are for where I live (Devon) of course. They'll be earlier in, e.g., Sussex ...
jeff.stevens
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Re: Tonight

Post by jeff.stevens »

Thanks SkyBrowser, a rough guide is fine. I’ll see if I can get some photographs.

Best wishes, Jeff.
PaulB
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Re: Tonight

Post by PaulB »

I must try and have a look for Venus-Mercury and of cause our Moon. Once this wet weather blows itself out.
Paul Anthony Brierley
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