Venus Deserts the Desert

   So here I am nearly 7o further south and 16o further west with hopes of taking advantage of the clear and darker skies around the Tucson Arizona area. Unfortunately for me it is monsoon season and if the storms this morning and the mostly overcast skies are any indication of the weather to come then I am in trouble!! Nonetheless staying on the eastern side of the city allows me easy access to Mt. Lemmon or further east to dark sites around the Saguaro National Park. My plans include heading out before sunrise to try capturing Venus and maybe some of the stars in the northern hemisphere winter constellations now appearing over the eastern horizon before the Sun starts to brighten the sky.

5:30 am CDT

5:30 am CDT

   Throughout the next week Venus is visible but lower each morning as it moves east toward the Sun. This is easily seen by observing Venus at the same time of the morning. It helps to have something to use as a reference for the position of Venus above the Horizon – its altitude. So find something on your local horizon like a tree to use as a reference for how the altitude of Venus changes day by day.

5:30 am CDT

5:30 am CDT

   Venus is moving eastward toward the Sun at a daily rate that is faster then the apparent daily rate the Sun moves as the above animated graphic shows. While this animated graphic shows Venus above the horizon but then adds the orbital path for Venus and then the horizon is removed to show the Sun’s position relative to Venus.

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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