Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

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michael feist
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Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by michael feist »

I have been lucky to pick out Venus recently as it set, from my location, going down behind Southwick Hill. Observations as follows:

17/09/21:1917-1946 BST: Amongst rather murky broken clouds along the western 'horizon' - the tops of the clouds matching almost the tops of the bushes- using 10x42 monocular on tripod and 6x21 Pentax monocular, from upper west-facing window. Not obvious at first. But Venus could be seen by unaided eye later on. And at 1925 BST reached the top cable of the pylons, by 19420 BST was halfway down the row of cables and finally lost at 1946 BST.

18/09/21: 1944 BST: With unaided eye, and 10x42 monocular,; noticed Venus as it set in the bushes on Southwick Hill.

19/09 21: At Sunset, most of the sky was overcast excepting a strip along the western horizon which was mainly clear but with strips of pink and the pink-purple cirrus and a row of lower grey small cumulus. Venus was seen at 1915-1922-1942 BST and dipped i to a spindly Bush on the bill at 1944 BST Used 10x420monicular on tripod at first and later the 6x21 Pentax monocular on monopod through the upper window.

A pretty poor apparition this time and have yet to locate Venus during the daytime. It is now far from the Sun but very low down.

Regards maf.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by SkyBrowser »

By pure chance, at 1845UT, I caught sight of Venus very low down in the SW - from the conservatory! Altitude about 3°, magnitude -4.2. By heavens it's low, no wonder I've not been noticing it these last few weeks.
michael feist
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by michael feist »

27/09/21: Venus in Daylight (obs.#.765). 1530-1630 BST: Blue sky, some passing cumulus clods and very breezy. Finally located Venus above the southern rooftops, using Ultima 65 zoom spotting scope. Best view had about halfway between 18x and 55x (zoom range). The Sun-facing limb was good and sharp but the terminator-side rather vague. Probably not far from ½-phase. Initially near to meridian transit. The Sun was of course completely hidden from view behind the house. Regards maf.
michael feist
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by michael feist »

Watching Venus 'set' behind Southwick Hill, over the last three weeks, shows that it sets further and further south and earlier and earlier each day:
6th September set at 2005
7th September set at 2007
15th September set at 1955
17th September set at 1946
18th September set at 1944
19th September set at 1944
20th September set at 1942
21st September set at 1939
22nd September set at1937
23rd September set at 1935
24th September set at 1932
All times are BST. And all from the upstairs, west-facing window.
The 'horizon' is of course not the true horizon, being the top of the hedgerow on Southwick Hill in the distance and the hedge tops are not that regular either. However the general pattern is obvious. Each day the point behind which Venus reaches the various bushes, pylon cables and pylons, forever creeps or rather leaps, southwards.
Regards maf.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by jeff.stevens »

Very interesting record of observations, Mike. I haven't caught sight of Venus for a few weeks.

Best wishes, Jeff.
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by SkyBrowser »

michael feist wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:36 am The 'horizon' is of course not the true horizon, being the top of the hedgerow on Southwick Hill in the distance
Looking at your "setting" times I'd guess it's about 3-4° above the horizon. True setting time today is 19:59. The fact that it takes 30 minutes or so to drop those last few degrees shows what a shallow angle the ecliptic is making to the horizon at the moment.

For me, much further west than you, Venus sets at 20:12. I shall keep a careful watch for it now!
jeff.stevens
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by jeff.stevens »

Just observed Venus (1735BST) using an 8x56. What a tricky observation - intermittent cloud didn't help. It was azimuth +207 degrees and at an altitude slightly under +13 degrees. According to Stellaruim, it's at mag -4.24. Not visible to my naked eye.

It's fascinating spotting it in daylight. I'd been trying on and off since 1430BST, but thwarted by clouds and trees. When I was finally sure about the azimuth bearing, and had clear skies, it still took me about three or four minutes of careful scanning to spot it. It is such a fine point of light, and yet once seen it seems so obvious and brilliant.

Best wishes, Jeff.
michael feist
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Re: Observing the currently rather elusive Venus

Post by michael feist »

Venus in Daylight (obs.#766): 29/09/21: 1530-1650 BST. Passing cloud, Blue sky between. Set up Ultima 65 zoom spotter in the back garden, with Sun completely hidden by the house. Looking south, above the southern roofs and between a cherry tree and the house wall, where had located it yesterday. Very soon found Venus and continued to follow it, on and off, between doing other things, until 1650 BST. Zoomed the scope up about ½ way for a better view of the phase but followed at lowest 18x for tracking it as fov larger. Had to move the tripod a few times as the planet attempted to escape round the side of the house. This can be a bit tricky as one can lose it!
Much later, at 1901 BST, located Venus as it headed towards Southwick Hill from the west facing upper window using 6x21 Pentax monocular. Going behind the left-hand pylon, then the right, it disappeared into the bushes without re-appearing from behind this pylon, at 1924 BST.
Regards maf.
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