Selene and Aphrodite

September 24, 2007


Provided by: Anthony Ayiomamitis
Summary authors & editors: Anthony Ayiomamitis

Thanks to pristine weather conditions on this summer day (June 18, 2007), I had the privilege and thrill of observing and imaging my second occultation in the past three years involving the Moon and Venus, two of the three brightest objects in the sky. In spite of the fact that the occultation of Venus by the 3.5 day old Moon occurred during daylight (similar to the May 2004 event), these two brilliant celestial bodies were readily visible as both a naked-eye object and as a telescope finderscope object.

On this day, Venus was at 26.39 arc-seconds. With a magnitude of -4.4 and a phase of 44.1%, it was an easy target to locate during the day and, particularly, when the Moon is nearby so that proper focusing by our eye against the blue sky (for true infinity) becomes feasible.

Similarly, the 3.5-day old waning Moon was quite pleasing through the telescope's finderscope, with the thin crescent Moon meticulously bathed against the rich blue sky. Its milky white appearance allowed the identification of many major surface features associated with this eastern quadrant; Mare Crisium being the most dominant due to its proximity to the lunar terminator. Photo taken from central Greece.