This image was taken eleven weeks after Venus passed superior conjunction with the Sun and re-emerged in the western sky as the "evening star" after sunset. Venus shows phases, i.e., changes in its apparent shape, because it ornits the Sun inside Earth's orbit. When this image was taken, the phase of Venus was 93%, and the planet showed a nearly fully illuminated disk.
At rare intervals, we get to see Venus cross in front of the Sun at inferior conjunction. Transits of Venus only occur twice every 121 years, and the two transits are themselves 8 years apart. Transits of Venus always occur in either December or June. A transit of Venus occurred on June 8, 2004, and will be followed by another transit on June 6, 2012. If you miss those transits, you will have to wait until 2117 for another one. On less rare occasions, Mercury will also sometimes transit across the Sun.
This is a CCD image taken with a Takahashi Mewlon 210 telescope at prime focus operating at f11.5. The CCD was an SBIG ST-8XE. The image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.
RA: 07h 28m 07s Dec: +23°19' 00"
June 19, 2005
Image by Sid Leach
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Description of equipment used to acquire images.
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