October 20, 2019

Astro-Event of the Week:03.23.09:Can you spot Venus at Inferior Conjunction?

Warning: Do not attempt this weeks’ astro-feat unless the Sun is properly blocked, preferably just below the horizon! Sweeping the area near the Sun with optical equipment introduces the very real possibility of momentarily pointing at the Sun, which can cause optical damage!

This week’s observing challenge is a unique attempt, and will put you in league with a handful of skilled observers that even realize this is possible. It is not generally appreciated that Venus’s orbit is tilted 3.4 degrees in relation to our own, as represented by the ecliptic.

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Astro-Event of the Week, September 9th-15th, 2008: Mercury Reaches Greatest Elongation.

Mercury is an elusive world.

Legend has it that Nicholas Copernicus himself never spotted the fleeting world. This week, Mercury reaches greatest elongation, and provides us with a chance to top one of the greats. [Read more...]