Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Multicolor Venus
Posted on 02/29/2012 9:13:06 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Brilliant Venus now shines in western skies at twilight. Seen as the prominent evening star, the planet is a tantalizing celestial beacon even for casual skygazers. Venus can offer less than satisfying telescopic views though. The planet is shrouded in reflective clouds that appear bright but featureless at the eyepiece. Still, careful imaging with a series of color filters, as used in these composite images, can reveal subtle cloud patterns. Captured early last month from a backyard observatory in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, the images are based on video camera frames. The data was recorded through near-ultraviolet, green, and near-infrared filters (left), and red, green, and blue filters while Venus stood high above the western horizon just before sunset. This season's evening apparition of Venus is the best one for northern hemisphere observers in 7 years. It will ultimately end with a solar transit of the planet, the last one to occur in your lifetime, on June 5/6.
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If you can observe Venus setting on a clear horizon, using a medium magnification telescope, you will see it display itself as a psychedelic candle flame. This is a unique experience to be had only at the eyepiece, AFAIK, although I suppose it would be possible to capture some intimation of it with sophisticated video equipment. So far though, I’ve never seen any video of this nature.
It’s mostly because of persistence of vision, and infrared, visible and ultraviolet light over-saturating your retina.
Don’t listen to him dr_lew.
It is because of magic.
It’s atmospheric refraction. The resemblance to a flame is not accidental, but due to the physics of turbulent thermal convection.
If it’s not magic, it’s certainly a magical experience.
IT IS MAGIC!!!!
Now ya got me all worked up!