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Post Info TOPIC: Venus


L

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RE: Venus
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Venus in the constellation Virgo, 10:00 UT, 3rd August, 2010.

Magnitude=-4.2mag  
Best seen from 10.0h -22.2h
RA=11h44m53s  Dec= +1°33.9' (J2000)
Distance=0.818AU
Elongation= 45° 
Phase k=57%
Diameter=20.4"

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L

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Venus, the second closest planet to the Sun, is by far the brightest of the three planets gathered in this weekend's western sky at sunset.
It has also proven to be a popular way-point for spacecraft headed for the gas giant planets in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Why visit Venus first? Using a gravity assist manoeuvre, spacecraft can swing by planets and gain energy during their brief encounter, saving fuel for use at the end of their long interplanetary voyage.


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This colourised image of Venus was recorded by the Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft shortly after its gravity assist flyby of Venus in February of 1990.
Galileo's glimpse of the veiled planet shows structure in swirling sulphuric acid clouds. The bright area is sunlight glinting off the upper cloud deck.

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L

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In early May, Venus began to emerge as an evening star very low in the western twilight. This evening, it sets 27 degrees north of due west (almost three widths of your fist held at arm’s length) nearly an hour after sunset.
By June 1 this will have improved to 80 minutes, giving even casual observers their first view of the famed "Evening Star."
It’s so bright that it can be spotted even through twilight very low in the west-northwest 45 minutes after sunset.
Appearing as a brilliant white star like object, Venus is high the western evening sky through the remainder of this year.
Unfortunately, for most Northern Hemisphere observers this summers viewing is going to be a rather poor evening apparition of Venus. It will appear unusually low to the horizon right after sunset. Venus’ placement in the sky relative to the sun; from June 19 through Dec. 8, will appear to have a more southerly declination than the sun.
On July 1, those living at or near 40 degrees north latitude will see Venus set just 1˝ hours after sunset. At mid-twilight, it will appear to hover only about 6 degrees above the horizon.
By Aug. 31, Venus will still be setting only 1˝ hours after sundown and at mid-twilight will stand only about 8 degrees above the horizon. This also means that at no time through July and August will Venus be visible against a completely dark sky, as it will set before the end of evening twilight.
(In contrast to these poor viewing conditions, sky watchers in the Southern Hemisphere will see Venus pull well away from the sun and gradually soar progressively higher in the evening sky during July and August. By the end of August, in fact, Venus will be setting more than 3 hours after the sun and will appear more than 20 degrees above the horizon by the end of evening twilight).



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