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Archive for the ‘Venus’ Category

06/07/2018 – Ephemeris- Venus passes Pollux tonight

June 7, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 3:10 tomorrow morning.

The planet Venus will be passing the last of the bright winter stars tonight. That star is Pollux in Gemini the twins, which will appear below and to the left of the much brighter Venus. As Venus moves about the Sun in our evening sky it will pass other bright first magnitude stars that are near the ecliptic, the path of the Sun and also near the paths of the Moon and planets. On July 9th it will pass Regulus in Leo the Lion. Then on September 1st it will pass Spica in Virgo the Virgin. That will be the last of the first magnitude stars it will pass during its evening appearance this year. Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun on October 26th, leaving the evening sky and entering the morning sky.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Path of Venus

The path of Venus against the stars and constellations. This image ignores the Sun, Moon and other planets. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

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Categories: Ephemeris Program, Venus

05/17/2018 – Ephemeris – Venus and the Moon tonight and viewing Venus in the daytime

May 17, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 9:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 11:40 this evening.

This afternoon at 2:11 the Moon will appear to pass Venus. This will be impossible to see since the Moon is going to be much dimmer than Venus. Venus can indeed be seen in the daylight. I’ve seen it many times with binoculars or a telescope, but only once with the naked eye. The latter time was not long before sunset. It is essential that to spot Venus in the daytime by any of these means that one is in the shade, by putting the Sun behind a building, and knowing where Venus is supposed to be using a program on a smart phone. By tonight the Moon will have moved eastward past Venus by up to 13 of its diameters and will also be displaying earthshine, the reflection of the Earth off its night side.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus and the Moon

Venus and the Moon at 10 p.m. May 17, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

05/04/2018 – Ephemeris – Tonight I present Venus from the mists of time to today

May 4, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, May 4th. The Sun rises at 6:28. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:51. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 1:15 tomorrow morning.

The planet Venus is our evening star now. I’ve been talking about it on this program lately. Want to hear and see more? Tonight at 8 p.m. at the May meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, I will be giving an illustrated talk: Venus from the mists of time to today. To the early Greeks it was two planets. To the Maya it was a calendar. In the 18th century it was a way to measure the size of the solar system. Today, it could be what our future looks like. After the meeting, at 9 p.m. the society will host a star party to view the planets Venus and Jupiter. The observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road between Garfield and Keystone roads.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus section of the Dresden Codex

5 Pages of the Dresden Codex produced by the Maya tracking Venus’ appearances in the skies over the Yucatan. for 104 years. The Dresden Codex is one of only 4 surviving Mayan Codices.

04/30/2018 – Ephemeris – Venus-Earth resonances, and Jupiter & the Moon tonight

April 30, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 30th. The Sun rises at 6:34. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 8:46. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 9:30 this evening.

Jupiter will be near the moon tonight. The gravitational force between the planets produces some interesting resonances in their orbital periods. Venus has three different kinds with the Earth. First, Venus orbits the Sun 13 times in the same time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun 8 times. This is a 13 to 8 resonance. This sets up the 5 Venus Cycles equaling 8 years resonance the Mayan’s discovered. A Venus cycle of 584 days takes Venus to go from Morning Star to Evening Star and back again. The next one wasn’t discovered until we started to bounce radar signals off Venus. We found it rotates backwards, and very slowly at that. Its rotation with respect to the stars is longer than its year. And it so happens that every passage near the Earth the same side of Venus is facing us.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Moon and Jupiter

The Moon and Jupiter at 10 p.m. tonight, April 30, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

04/27/2018 – Ephemeris – The Mayan special relationship to Venus

April 27, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Arbor Day, Friday, April 27th. The Sun rises at 6:38. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 8:42. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:20 tomorrow morning.

The Mayans of Mesoamerica a thousand years ago diligently observed Venus and discovered Venus’ unique cycles that they used to correct their calendars. The first was the Venus Cycle, the period we’d say that Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun to enter the morning sky to the next time it does it. That was 584 days. Its appearance in the morning sky would last 263 days, Then it would disappear near the Sun, actually behind it for 50 days. It would reappear in the evening sky for another 263 days before again disappearing near the Sun, this time for only 8 days. These are the 4 phases of a Venus cycle. Five of these cycles equals almost exactly 8 years, called a sequence. 13 sequences equal 104 years, a Venus Round.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus Cycle

Venus Cycle derived from John P Pratt who has another purpose for the diagram and annotated by me to include the number of days in each phase. For my purposes ignore points 1 and 4. The Mayan cycle starts with 7, the first appearance of Venus during the morning. Points 8 and 5 are the points where Venus is at greatest elongation from the Sun. Credit John P Pratt.

04/26/2018 – Ephemeris – When the Greeks thought Venus was two separate planets

April 26, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 26th. The Sun rises at 6:40. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 1 minute, setting at 8:41. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:52 tomorrow morning.

For the next three programs I’m going to take a look at Venus through the eyes of the ancient, or pre-telescopic cultures. It’s a teaser for the program I’m presenting at the NMC Observatory May 4th. Venus from the mists of time to today. We call Venus’ appearance in the morning the Morning Star and its evening appearance, the Evening Star. The very ancient Greeks thought they were two separate planets. The morning planet was Phosphorus, and the evening planet was Hesperus. Somewhere around the 4th or 3rd century BC someone figured the when Hesperus was out in the evening Phosphorus was not out the next morning, and vice versa. The then single planet was named Aphrodite, by whose Roman name, Venus, we still call it by today.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus (Hesperus) at its evening eastern greatest elongation

Venus (Hesperus) at its evening eastern greatest elongation on August 18, 2018 showing the part of its orbit that’s above the horizon. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus (Phosphorus) at its morning western greatest elongation

Venus (Phosphorus) at its morning western greatest elongation on January 6, 2019 showing the part of its orbit that’s above the horizon. Jupiter is the other planet visible. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus at inferior conjunction

Venus at inferior conjunction on October 27, 2018 showing its entire orbit on a smaller scale than the images above from the Earth’s perspective.  The far part of the orbit goes behind the Sun. The planets Mercury and Jupiter are seen left of the Sun. Created using Stellarium.

04/24/2018 – Ephemeris – Venus will be south of the Pleiades tonight

April 24, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, April 24th. The Sun rises at 6:43. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 8:39. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:51 tomorrow morning.

Tonight the brilliant planet Venus will be just south of the Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters star cluster. From our cockeyed position on the Earth about half way from the equator and the North Pole. The sky in the east and west, low in the sky, is tilted about the same angle, namely about 45 degrees. If you’re listening to this program from other than Northern Michigan the angle will be the same as your latitude. So instead of south being down, as one would expect when looking to the south, south is to the lower left when looking to the west. On this program Thursday, Friday and Monday I’ll be talking about Venus and what the ancients found out about the planet in the days before the telescope was invented.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The sky low in the west

Venus, Pleiades, Aldebaran with the Hyades star cluster and Orion are seen in the west at 9:45 p.m. April 24, 2018. Venus is south of the Pleiades. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and the Pleiades with grid

A closer look at Venus and the Pleiades with the coordinate grid added. The lines that run from upper right to lower left are lines of right ascension, analogous to longitude lines on the Earth. To the upper right is north and lower left is south. The other lines are those of declination. Like latitude lines on the Earth, they run east and west. Created using Stellarium.