A Brilliant Irony


Terrestrial Planet
By Eric Graff
Parks Astrolight EQ6 • 6″ f/6 Newtonian Reflector
7.5mm Parks Gold Series Plössl + 2x Barlow • 240x, 13′ FoV
30 September 2007 • 13:00-13:30 UT

It is somewhat ironic that the most brilliant planet in the sky is also the most challenging to observe. On 30 September 2007 Venus appears as a dazzling crescent (32% illuminated) in the morning sky, 42° west of the Sun and shining at magnitude –4.7.

This observation was made during morning twilight and the white cloud-tops of Venus displayed a fair amount of subtle, dusky shading, seemingly in a series of roughly parallel arcs curving northward. The shadings were most prominent toward the terminator, while the polar-regions were quite bright, particularly the southern cusp. In spite of the atmospheric subtlety, I found the observation of the large Venusian disk quite relaxing and relatively easy compared to the previous observation of the tiny Martian disk.

3 thoughts on “A Brilliant Irony”

  1. Fantastic sketching and composition Eric. The albedo features on the inset close up are difficult to see much less render without persistent patience.


  2. Eric,

    I really like that sketch of Venus. Excellent detail in he clouds/banding. Nice indeed!


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