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Posts Tagged ‘Venus’

Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

The NASA site ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day‘ continues to blow me away.

This is the photo for this morning, February 27, 2014.

venus-moon-occultation(Image Credit & Copyright: Cui Yongjiang and Shi Zexing)

Here is NASA’s blurb…

Explanation: Venus now appears as planet Earth’s brilliant morning star standing above the eastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on February 26. But seen from locations in western Africa before sunrise, the lunar crescent actually occulted or passed in front of Venus, also in a crescent phase. Farther to the east, the occultation occurred during daylight hours. In fact, this telescopic snapshot of the dueling crescents was captured just before the occultation began under an afternoon’s crystal clear skies from Yunnan Province, China. The unforgettable scene was easily visible to the naked eye in broad daylight.

If you don’t already do so, please consider making NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day part of your daily online routine.

You won’t regret it.

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Explanation: An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred last year. Usually it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. Last June, most unusually, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually the alignment became perfect and the phase of Venus dropped to zero. The dark spot of Venus crossed our parent star.

venus-sun-ultraviolet(Venus eclipse – the small dot on the 3-colour ultraviolet sun image) [1]

The situation could technically be labeled a Venusian annular eclipse with an extraordinarily large ring of firePictured above during the occultation, the Sun was imaged in three colors of ultraviolet light by the Earth-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, with the dark region toward the right corresponding to a coronal hole. Hours later, as Venus continued in its orbit, a slight crescent phase appeared again. The next Venusian solar eclipse will occur in 2117.

Thanks, once again, to the amazing minds down at NASA for this mind-blowing image.

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[1] Image Credit: NASA/SDO & the AIA, EVE, and HMI teams; Digital Composition: Peter L. Dove.

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