The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

The Phases of Venus

Look west shortly after sunset.  That bright object is Venus and it rapidly catching up to Earth due the fact that Venus travels faster around the Sun.  As it passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, two things happen.  First, it Venus appears larger because it is getting closer to Earth.  Second, we see more of the dark side of Venus and less of the light side of Venus.  In other words, Venus shows a phase just like our Moon.

Tonight I went out with my Canon Digital Rebel Xti and the 55-250mm EFS lens, zoomed in on Venus, and was pleased to see the little crescent of Venus.

Venus will get a little lower in the sky each night and soon be too low to observe.  If you want to see this phenomena, now is the time!

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October 1, 2010 - Posted by | Astrophotography, Observing, Solar System

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