Observing extremely thin Venus crescents

An extremely thin crescent of Venus on June 2nd, 2012, four days before the transit of Venus. Illumination is 0.5%. Copyright Mario Weigand, www.skytrip.de.

Venus appears as a fine crescent at inferior conjunction. During the recent event, I caught the planet on October 31 at 1.4% percent illumination. But it can be observed even thinner than that – with caution!

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On the edge of the Solar System: Triton eclipses a star

Neptune and Triton, captured with the Palomar Telescope in 2003. Credit: D. Banfield, P. D. Nicholson, & B. J. Conrath (Cornell), Palomar Obs., JPL, NASA

Triton is surely not an everyday’s target for visual observers. Neptune’s largest moon is far and faint. But on October 6, it happened to eclipse a distant star – which led to an impressive visual observation on the very edge of the solar system.

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Great American Eclipse: My observations

Allsky image of the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as seen from the Oregon Star Party. Imaged with a Canon EOS 6D and 9mm Sigma full frame fisheye at f/3.5, 6400 ISO, 1/4 second.

The Great American Eclipse was utterly beautiful – and quick! Here is a short report on the phonomena I observed while watching the event under almost perfect clear skies at the Oregon Star Party site in the Ochoco Mountains in central Oregon. Continue reading “Great American Eclipse: My observations”