Venus - The Evening "Star"
To the surprise of many, the planet Venus appears to us to go through phases just like the moon. It transitions from full and new phase visually nearest the sun to a crescent, quarter, and gibbous phases further from the sun. This is because Venus is closer to us than the sun, therefore we see its dark side regularly (unlike Mars, Jupiter and the other planets that are further than us from the sun. Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love, perhaps because it is so beautiful at its brightest in the evening and morning skies. After the sun and the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the sky, reaching over 25,000 times brighter than the faintest stars you can see at night. In the darkest locations on planet Earth, Venus can actually be seen to cast shadows. While perhaps one of the most beautiful naked eye planets, Venus is by no means a lovely place to visit. Its atmospheric pressure is about 100 times that of earth with a temperature approaching 900° F. Venus has a very thick atmosphere with clouds that are highly reflective giving it such a bright appearance. Sometimes clouds can be seen in earth based images, but this image is pretty devoid of such features.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: February 18, 2009
Camera: Canon 30D Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 30 x 3/1000 seconds Imager: Kent E. Biggs