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Astro Bob

Venus Is HOT Right Now

6 Jan 2019, 18:27 UTC
Venus Is HOT Right Now
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You can’t look away! Venus mesmerizes in this photo taken during early morning twilight Saturday, Jan. 5. Bob King
I went out Saturday morning to look for the recently-discovered comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto). It beckoned from the the tail of Hydra the Sea Serpent. I found it with some difficulty because the comet was neither bright nor high up in the sky. While I like bright comets best, they’re all welcome in my front yard. When a new one is discovered, faint or no, if it’s within range of my telescope, I’ll get up at any hour just to be part of the welcoming committee.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. About two fists to the left of the faint fuzz, Venus blazed like a fire in the treetops. Others have remarked on its brilliance including a couple of my neighbors who get up early to go to work. While lots of us have seen this brightest of planets before, a few things set its current appearance apart from some others. First, Venus rises well before the sun. In fact, the planet reaches greatest elongation today (Jan. 6), so it’s as far west of the sun ...

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