Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daylight observations of Venus with the naked eye

Near the end of January, I happened to be up just a while before dawn and saw Venus in a clear eastern sky, a little below a crescent moon.

I had read that it was possible to see Venus in daylight, and a friend had photographed it in the western sky near sunset, so I figured that with the moon as a guide I should be able to work out where to look for it.

I went back to bed and then tried again around 9 am (AEST), at which time it was close to directly overhead, and with the aid of binoculars and the moon as a cue I located Venus with a few minutes looking. Given the location, I could make it out very easily with the naked eye. I checked again every hour and found it almost immediately. It was still perfectly visible at 1pm, with the sun blazing overhead and Venus well into the western sky.

Myth confirmed!

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