Two Planets

No, that really isn’t the Moon. It’s a planet – Venus.

It’s summer here in Sydney and the late sunsets always make it more difficult to observe but this year, in addition, the cloudy weather has made it almost impossible.

Last night I took these two planetary shots in a real hurry after setting up on my driveway after sunset under a nice clear sky – only to watch in disgust as the clouds suddenly appeared in the East, racing across the sky towards my initial westerly targets. I was left with only a few minutes to snatch these quick planetary images  before being forced to pack up.

In both of the images below, the cropping factor was identical, so the apparent diameter of each can be compared.

2017-01-20-uranus-m6-2-3-5a-s-dia
2017-01-20: Uranus – magnitude +6.2, 3.5 arc-sec diameter.
2017-01-20-venus-26-7a-sec-dia-47pc-phase-14-1mag
2017-01-20: Venus – magnitude -4.1, 26.7 arc-seconds diameter, waning 47% phase (or last quarter phase).

Both images taken with my Meade LX-90 200mm diameter telescope.


EDIT 26th January 2017:

About Magnitude:

Venus is currently -4.1 mag. and Uranus is +6.2 mag., making a range of about 10.3 magnitudes between them.
One magnitude to another is equivalent to a difference of 2.512 times (fifth root of 100).
So, 2.512^10.3 =13,189
So, Venus generally currently appears to us over 13,000 time brighter than Uranus does, although that may vary slightly over time.


All images © R.Powell


 

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