Venus visits the evening sky.

Venus is the focus in the Western sky in the coming months and shines brightly.  It is very close in size to our own planet but the atmosphere of Venus would not be kind to life of any kind. It is mainly made up of dense carbon and sulfer dioxide and would quickly suffocate any human being or any other forms of life on the surface there.  The atmospheric pressure is about 92 times that of our own planet and that would feel like being under a kilometre of water.  If the pressure doesn't kill you then the temperature of 460 degrees Celcius might in about 10 minutes if not sooner.   Not exactly a holiday vacation hot spot!

Studies of Venus have suggested that several billion years ago that it was  much like our own planet with liquid water on the surface, but a runaway greenhouse effect caused the evaporation of all the liquid water on the surface into the atmosphere.

Venus will have some nice pairings in the sky in the coming months for observers in the New Year with the Moon, Sun and planets; So be ready with your telescopes and camera.   Find a nice setting with a foreground object like a tree or building which would help make a nice picture.  Always use a tripod when you can so your picture looks as sharp as possible.




Dates to remember:  

Jan 26th  7º S of Moon
Feb 25th  3º S of Moon
Mar 12th  3º of Jupiter
Mar 26th  1.8º of Moon
Apr  2nd   0.5º of Pleiades, M45

Malcolm Scrimger
RASC, Victoria Centre