10/25/2016 – Ephemeris – Venus is becoming more visible after sunset
Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 25th. The Sun will rise at 8:12. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 6:40. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:02 tomorrow morning.
Venus is becoming quite visible low in the southwest after sunset as the Evening Star. As such it is a beautiful addition to our autumn and winter skies. As seen in telescopes it is a tiny gibbous disc, 79% illuminated by the sun. It’s beauty is only cloud-top deep. For a planet that appears to be nearly Earth’s twin at 95% the Earth’s size, it can be said to be Earth’s evil twin. Its bright white cloud-tops aren’t made of water but sulfuric acid, and it gets worse the farther down you go. The farther one goes down in Venus’ carbon dioxide atmosphere, the hotter and higher the atmospheric pressure gets. At the surface the temperature is over 850 degrees Fahrenheit (460º C) and the atmospheric pressure is nearly 100 times that of Earth. Venus’ surface temperature is actually hotter than Mercury the closest planet to the Sun, a hellish runaway greenhouse effect.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.