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Saturday, March 25, 2006


Daytime Venus II (Sunday 26 March)

Orientation of Venus and the Moon, morning of Sunday March 26 (click to enlarge). I know I keep on banging on about seeing Venus in the Daytime (see here and here), but it is pretty amazing to see a planet in broad daylight.

However, seeing a dot, even a bright one, in the vast expanse of blue can be hard, but it helps if you have a guide. Tomorrow (Sunday 26 March), the Moon will be around 5 degrees (just under a handspan) to the left/north of the crescent Moon. The Moon should be fairly obvious. An hour or so after the Sun sets, find a nice spot where the Sun itself is blocked from view (remember always be VERY careful and NEVER look directly at the Sun, as you can permanently damage your eyesight), but there is a good clear northeast sky. Look up to about 3/4 of the way to the Zenith (60 degrees or about 10 handspans) in a just north of easterly direction and the crescent Moon should be obvious. Look to the left of the Moon by about 4 finger widths (roughly 5 degrees) and Venus should be an obvious bright dot (check the illustration for orientation).

You don't have to confine yourself to an hour after sunrise, but as the Sun rises higher it's harder to find objects to block it out that leave the Moon clear. As the Moon rises in the sky and passes the Zenith, Venus is north/below the Moon. You do need to look before about 4 pm, as the Moon and Venus will be too low to make out properly.

Good Luck, and don't forget to avoid looking at the Sun.

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