Venus, 0.4% illuminated and 5.1 degrees from the Sun, as seen about 12:30 pm local noon time from Sri Damansara, Malaysia (0430 UTC) on January 11, 2014, about about 8 hours before inferior conjunction. Credit and copyright: Shahrin Ahmad.
Venus has now gone from being that bright “star” you’ve been seeing around sunset to later this month being the bright object you’ll see in the early morning pre-dawn hours. On January 11, Venus passed between Earth and the Sun in what is known as inferior conjunction. We challenged our readers to try and capture it, and Shahrin Ahmad in Malaysia nabbed the tiny crescent Venus about 8 hours before inferior conjunction, in what he said was a personal record!
“Around 12.30 p.m. local noon time, there was a brief of good seeing, and probably the best one so far,” Shah said via email. “Suits nicely as a parting shot. After that the sky seeing began to deteriorate really fast!”
Venus was about 0.4% illuminated and 5.1 deg from the Sun.
“Even without stretching the original photo, we can easily see how the crescent has reach beyond 180 degrees around Venus,” he said. “This is the closest Venus I’ve ever imaged.”
You can see Shah (and his telescope) on the Virtual Star Party this week, talking about his Venus observations.
But take a look at this: here’s a great series of images from Paul Stewart from Timaru, New Zealand:
Venus inferior conjunction timeline from January 7 to 13th, missing January 12 due to clouds. Credit and copyright: Paul Stewart.
Wow! That’s exceptional work! You can see more of Paul’s astro-work at his website, Upside Down Astronomer.
Thanks to both Shah and Paul for sharing their photos!