Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Viewing Venus: A Daylight Timing

stopwatch.jpg {190p W}

Today I took a short break from the office and headed off to Bryant Park again to observe Venus in daylight in order to determine if I could see Venus' phase › naked eye › at this point in its cycle.

Knowing this would be difficult I also planned to see how long it would take to spot Venus naked eye. The time of the observation was around 2:30pm with the Sun 16° above the horizon.

I knew approximately where to look since the circumstances matched the previous sighting closely, but not exactly. When I arrived at the location I took out the Palm and started the stopwatch.

After viewing for nearly 6 seconds I detected Venus. After viewing it for a bit I went to check out a nearby bird - it was a White-throated Sparrow. When I went back to view the planet again it was picked up almost instantly. I didn't think it would be that quick. I'm glad I decided to time myself.

Last night, around sunset, I spotted Mars near the Moon and that sighting was more difficult than viewing Venus today in full sunlight.

Needless to say with Venus at close to 44 arc seconds I wasn't able to see it as anything other than as a bright spot on a blue background. I'll keep trying as long as the weather permits.