9 december 2016 | Moon & Venus

Moon & Venus

Image credit: Petr Horálek | Click image to enlarge

Image Data

  • Location: Seč reservoir, Czech Republic
  • Date: 3 December 2016
  • Camera: Canon 6D Baader IR modified
  • Optics: Samyang 24 mm @ f3.2
  • Exposure: 40×0,5s @ ISO 320

On the evening of the 3rd of December, Czech Photographer Petr Horálek took multiple exposures of the Moon and Venus over the Seč reservoir in the Czech Republic.
Petr used 40 separate exposures to show the celestial pair setting in the West as the day drew to a close. These images were then stacked into one single frame. As a bonus the planet Mars can also be seen at the upper left of the photo.

Venus will appear to climb higher in the sky each evening in December, as the planet’s orbit brings it out from behind the Sun, catching up with Earth on its Inferior orbit (Interior to Earths), and towards its greatest elongation on the 12th of January.

Venus exhibits phases as seen from Earth during its orbit. A full disk is seen when opposite the Sun at Superior Conjunction, and a thin crescent when closest to Earth at Inferior Conjunction. As the planet moves higher in the sky each evening in December, it will grow in size and brightness, but also shows less and less of its surface, appearing like a waning Moon each night.

At its greatest elongation this will place, Venus, the Earth and the Sun at 90 degrees to each other. Although the planet will be at 90 degrees and hence should exhibit a 50% phase on the 12th of January, due to the Schröter effect, the phases appears at 50% prior to its greatest elongation. This effect is thought to be due to Venus’s thick atmosphere which scatters the light giving the appearance of a different phase percentage.

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