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.