Venus, Early March, 2020

March 4th, 6:40 p.m. local time

Venus is still a remarkable and bright experience, in the West sky shortly after Sunset.  I dragged my Dobsonian outside for the first time this year tonight, and took a few sets of videos to stack.  Above is the result, which nicely shows the planet’s current silhouette as it faces, relative to Earth, the set Sun in the West.

If you’re up at dawn, you can see Jupiter in the East.  I assume Saturn is near Jupiter as well, but I haven’t been able to find it, and my view in that direction is largely blocked.  But in a clear morning sky, it’s hard to miss Jupiter right now, even through the obstructions of leafless trees.

Going to be a fun planet-viewing year – Venus now, and later, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, and Mars’s next opposition.

Image settings/equipment for reference:

  • Homemade Dobsonian telescope, 254mm
  • TeleVue Barlow x5
  • Neodymium filter
  • Canon EOS SL3
  • f/00 (infinity)
  • 1/1000 sec exposure
  • ISO 400
  • Stacked 4 ~24 second videos, HD at 60fps

13 thoughts on “Venus, Early March, 2020

  1. Paul, I know that it is inhospitable to human life because of its atmosphere, however, do you think that its environment, its closeness to the sun, perhaps both, are the reasons we cannot colonize it? I would like to get your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all of those reasons. That all the probes sent to Venus melt away and/or are crushed by the atmosphere shows the difficulties. Mars by contrast is far more forgiving. All of the probes we’ve sent to Mars in over 40 years are still there, even if their batteries are dead.

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Apart from being closer to the Sun, my understanding is that Venus may have less inhospitable in the past but suffered a runaway greenhouse effect, i.e. its CO2 atmosphere now prevents most of the absorbed solar energy from being re-radiated as infra-red.

      Liked by 2 people

    • It’s probably a contributing factor to the excessive heat, yes. I really haven’t looked into this, but I’m guessing the heat plus the crushing atmosphere make colonization impractical, and that’s on top of all the other issues of colonization that are present with a far more hospitable planet like Mars.


  2. Thanks for the picture of Venus. I Like looking at the planets, but have a hard time justifying buying a telescope for what you see and how often I would do it. Maybe when I retire it would be a great hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

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