December 18, 2017

Astro-Challenge: Daytime Planet Spotting!

A daytime Venus post-occultation in 2007!

(Photo by Author).

Here’s a fine neighborhood experiment to try. Next time the Moon is around 1st or Last Quarter, show your neighbors or passers-by its pale silver disk hanging in the cool blue sky. Did they know that the Moon can be seen in broad daylight? Perhaps not, but did you know that with a little practice you can see many of the naked eye planets in the daytime as well? Starting this week, spring of 2012 offers several opportunities to perform these feats of “astro-athletics… [Read more...]

Astro-Event: An Occultation of Venus.

(Created by the Author in Starry Night).

 

   Occultations are one of the few split-second events in the field of observational astronomy. Unlike most spectacles which may take longer than the average human life span, (the orbits of many double stars comes to mind!) An occultation of a star or planet can occur with abrupt swiftness. Such an event can serve as a calibration, a precise measurement in time and space of size and position. [Read more...]