May 22, 2012

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Eclipse or ?

image by Lee DeCovnick, Walnut Creek, California

The date suggests that this is an image of a not quite annular eclipse, and the use of a solar filter confirms it. But if you have observed other objects lately you might have thought for a moment that Venus was the target. The look-alike appearances both result from the Sun shining from beyond the Moon or Venus towards Earth. For the eclipse the Moon was further than average from Earth so that the Sun was not fully covered. That statement will be true again on June 5 when the Sun will not be fully covered by an unilluminated rocky body. But tonight Venus looks very similar to Lee's eclipse image, and over the next 13 days Venus will come more and more to loook like a full annular eclipse. If you missed the eclipse, the next two weeks of Venus will take you through similar phases, at a smaller scale, with a near fully illuminated ring just before transit.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
May 20, 2012, 6:43 PDT. Nikon D70s, prime focus with Stellarvue 70mm ED Raptor, Baader solar filter, SO 200, 1/500 second

Yesterday's LPOD: Boundaries And Fractures

Tomorrow's LPOD: Filling Holes


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