Friday, July 09, 2004

Planet Venus Update

After Venus passed in front of the Sun back on June 8, it moved from the evening sky into the early morning sky. Any early birds out there? Here is the latest on Venus from

"On Wednesday, July 14, Venus comes up in total darkness while shining at its greatest brilliancy (magnitude -4.5). To give you an idea of just how radiant Venus is, it's now over 17 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest of all stars. In fact, it's so bright that you might try spying it on very clear days with the naked eye after sunrise. If you can keep track of where the planet is through sunup, you should still be able to see it as a tiny white "speck" against the blue sky.

As a bonus, a lovely crescent Moon slides well to the north and east of Venus on the mornings of July 13 and 14. By the end of July Venus rises well over an hour before the first glimmer of dawn."

If we have clear skies here on Bonaire next week, I definitely plan to check out Venus at its brightest. In the past, I have indeed been able to spot Venus with my naked eye all morning, until lunch time, once I had an idea of where to look for it. The moon could serve as a good reference point for keeping track of Venus during the daytime next week.

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