Venus 2020

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Decent seeing. Cloud features are subtly visible.

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First image of Venus after inferior conjunction in June.

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First image of Venus after inferior conjunction in June.

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I didn't expect to have another opportunity to image Venus before inferior conjunction, but the sky cleared long enough for me to put out the C8 and image the planet as a thin crescent.

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Another day of only imaging Venus with the 1000nm filter.

Notes:

  • Beta, Phoebe, and Themis Regio are visible as dark spots near the limb of the night side.

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Got a late start on imaging this evening. Skipped capturing an RGB image to have enough time to collect enough 1000nm data.

Notes:

  • Beta Regio is visible as a dark spot near the limb on the northern hemisphere.

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Tough seeing conditions as Venus rapidly closes in on inferior conjunction with the Sun. Venus has exceeded 50 arc-seconds of angular diameter.

There are many ghost images of the day-side crescent, but it appears that Beta Regio is visible as a dark spot near the limb on the northern hemisphere.

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Tough seeing conditions as Venus rapidly closes in on inferior conjunction with the Sun. Venus has exceeded 50 arc-seconds of angular diameter.

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Much better seeing than a couple days ago. Clouds rolled in before I had a chance to capture images of the night side at 1000nm.

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Very turbulent seeing on this evening. Venus is starting to drop lower at a faster pace. It will be become hard to image in a few weeks.

I rotated the camera occasionally to reduce optical artifacts. Seems to be a strategy that works well.

Notes:

  • Beta Regio is visible as a dark spot near the crescent.
  • Atla Regio may be visible on the western limb.

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Very turbulent seeing on this evening. Venus is starting to drop lower at a faster pace. It will be become hard to image in a few weeks.

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The thinner crescent of the day side and larger angular diameter made it much easier to catch thermal emissions from the night side.

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Turbulent seeing for this imaging session of Venus, but the high surface brightness of the sulfuric acid clouds allows me to capture large amounts of data very quickly.

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Second consecutive night of stable imaging conditions for Venus. We are now a few days beyond greatest elongation from the Sun.

After a successful attempt with relatively little data on the 26th, I assumed using more data would guarantee a better image of the night side, but I think that turned out wrong. My two ideas for why are either a slightly shorter exposure (300ms on the 26th, 280ms here) or the conditions were less favorable for catching 1000nm light.

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Second consecutive night of stable imaging conditions for Venus. We are now a few days beyond greatest elongation from the Sun.

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Second consecutive night of stable imaging conditions for Venus. We are now a few days beyond greatest elongation from the Sun.

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Much better night for imaging Venus with the C14 than the last session a month ago.

I applied a stronger sharpening than usual to bring out the faint details in the clouds.

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Much better night for imaging Venus with the C14 than the last session a month ago.

After finishing up with the Thorlabs FELH1000, I swapped to the usual imaging train for an RGB image.

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Much better night for imaging Venus with the C14 than the last session a month ago.

First light of my Thorlabs FELH1000. A filter like this blocks most light reflected off the thick sulfuric acid clouds on the day-side. The clouds also happen to be translucent at 1000nm, allowing the faint infrared light emitted by the surface to be seen on the night-side.

I couldn't have done this without some research and asking around. Here are resources I found useful:
Image the surface of Venus this winter!
ThorLabs 1 micron filter for Venus - Solar System Imaging & Processing - Cloudy Nights
Stuck with researching Venus imaging at 1 micron - Solar System Imaging & Processing - Cloudy Nights

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A decent night for imaging. Racing against the clock to catch Venus before it sunk too low in the sky made for a difficult session. This was the first time using the C14 to image Venus.

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A decent night for imaging. Racing against the clock to catch Venus before it sunk too low in the sky made for a difficult session. This was the first time using the C14 to image Venus.

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A decent night for imaging. Racing against the clock to catch Venus before it sunk too low in the sky made for a difficult session. This was the first time using the C14 to image Venus.

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Much improved session compared to the previous one two nights earlier. The temperature was surprisingly comfortable for this part of winter.

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Much improved session compared to the previous one two nights earlier. The temperature was surprisingly comfortable for this part of winter.

For the first time, I can see cloud details in one of my Venus images!

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Pretty good night of imaging. Seeing was good, while transparency was excellent as usual for this time of year. Tonight was the first light of my new ZWO IR850 filter. I was hoping to see some details in the clouds with this filter, but it seems like that goal will have to wait.

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Pretty good night of imaging. Seeing was good, while transparency was excellent as usual for this time of year. Tonight was the first light of my new ZWO IR850 filter. I was hoping to see some details in the clouds with this filter, but it seems like that goal will have to wait.

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Tonight was a chilly one, but it was worth the improved conditions for imaging. This was a first light for my ZWO EFWmini and Celestron StarPointer Pro. The EFWmini is surprisingly quiet compared to other electronic filter wheels I have used. The StarPointer Pro also works great, but I recommend finding a mounting bracket for red dot finders if you have an SCT and need to remove it after every session.

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Improved conditions for imaging compared to December as Venus' elongation from the Sun increases. Tonight it is 80% illuminated and decreasing as it catches up with Earth.

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A difficult night of imaging. Seeing was bad enough to make the green and blue recordings useless, something I haven't experienced in a while.

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My first image of Venus since January. I'm hoping to spend more time on the brightest planet in the sky starting this apparition.

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