Venus at Midday!

[Update: That really hurt. Hard on the neck. And could not even find the moon… I think there’s left over moisture haze high up. 🙁 ]

I just learned from Phil’s Bad Astronomy blog that apparently there’s a great opportunity to see Venus right in the middle of the day, and today is rather optimum for it. I’m going to try and see if it works. At about 1:00pm (sorry those of you for whom the sun has already gone way past that), look for the sun and then the thin crescent moon will be about three fist-widths to the left of that (if in the Northern hemisphere – right otherwise). Venus will be visible just to the right of that crescent. Phil has a diagram up on his site, here. This is all supposed to be possible with the naked eye, and I imagine you can help things a lot by holding your palm up against the sun to stop the brightness from that direction, and then waiting a bit for your eyes to relax into the viewing of the area of the sky I mentioned. Phil also mentioned binoculars. I’d seriously suggest trying without them, if you can, since accidentally looking at the sun with them is something I want to strongly urge you to avoid. (If you must use them, put something like a building or a large tree trunk in front of the sun and don’t change your footing…)

Good luck! I’m going to try in a couple of hours. Let me know how it works out for you, if you like!


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7 Responses to Venus at Midday!

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  2. P says:

    Hm Hm

    How come you like the bad astronomy blog so much? You are a very positive person while Phil is a very negative. Doesn’t it go into a clinch? 🙂

    Best, P

  3. Clifford says:

    Really? He’s negative? I don’t see it.


  4. Yes, I went out yesterday too, and couldn’t even find the moon. LA air. I have seen Venus in broad daylight, though: it was near the time of maximum brilliance, and I just watched it day by day, finding it earlier and earlier in the evening using yesterday’s knowledge of where it would be. Finally, I saw it while the sun was still up.
    Why Phil chose to remark on Venus’s daytime visibility now is a bit of a mystery to me, though: maximum brilliance isn’t till September.

  5. Clifford says:

    Perhaps because of having the moon there to guide the eye.

    Was very misty in LA yesterday, and even though by midday it had gone, I think there was still a lot of moisture in the high up bits, making it impossible to see even the crescent moon.


  6. Yvette says:

    Usually people make a note of this when it’s close to the moon as it’s easiest to spot nearby like that when you don’t know what to look for. But honestly you can see it any old day, just scan the ecliptic carefully.

    But then you’re talking to a gal who once spotted Jupiter before dusk began so I’m used to seeing things no one else can. Not my fault your eyes suck! 😛

  7. Clifford says:

    😀 !!

    ( 🙁 )