Friday, April 3, 2020

The Evening Star and the Seven Sisters, 3 April 2020

Due to a quirk in the orbital periods of Earth and Venus, we observe the Evening Star pass through the Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters) once every eight years in April. The last time was in April 2012 and the next time is in April 2028.

I recorded the image below using a FinePix S7000. The camera was mounted to a tripod to keep it steady during the exposure. The camera was set at its maximum six power optical zoom (I didn't use the digital zoom) and the exposure time was for four seconds (so you can see a tripod us critical for success).

I took the best picture and enhanced it in GIMP by adjusting the contrast and brightness. The image doesn't quite match what I see in binoculars, but it is close. By the way, the glare of Venus is too great for you to see the Pleiades unless you use optical aid, like binoculars.

The Pleiades are 444 light years away and Venus is only 57 million miles away or about five light minutes.

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