March 1, 2011

See Venus in Daylight!

There’s an old doo-wop song called “Venus in Bluejeans”. This morning I’m updating the lyric to “Venus in Daytime”

This will be a good chance to log a daytime viewing of the brilliant planet Venus. The crescent moon will be about 4 degrees (half a fist width at arms length) below and left of Venus. Look for them near sunrise, about 6:45 am local time Tuesday morning March 1st, in the southeast.


Remember the distance and position of the two, and then later in the morning (in full daylight) scan the same area (to the right and up slightly from the Moon’s crescent) with binoculars, and you should be able to pick out Venus.  If you have the time, you can look every 15 minutes or so, from sunrise on, to keep a fix on the Moon, which will be dimming.

Be extremely careful and avoid looking directly at the Sun naked eye or through optics. You can permanently blind yourself in less than one second.

Wednesday and Thursday try to spot the very slim crescent waning Moon. “New” Moon is Friday, March 4th. Luna will glide into the evening sky this weekend as the next lunation begins. Saturday evening March 5th the new crescent Moon will appear just west (right) of Mercury and Sunday near Jupiter. Mercury will make its best evening appearance of the year March 13-16.

Map prepared with John Walker’s Your Sky planetarium program

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