Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Now you see it, now you don’t!

We had high hopes for a good view of the occultation.  (An occultation happens when one astronomical object, most often the Moon, appears to cover-up another, in this case the planet Venus).  Despite poor weather forecasts earlier, the morning of December 1st had been surprisingly clear.

As we gathered at the ROG about 3:15pm, the clouds were rolling up — of course.  Murphy’s Law in action.

And yet... and yet... with the moment of occultation due at 3:47pm, by 3:40 we had an excellent view of Venus within a whisker of the Moon’s dark limb (see picture R).  Quite a thrill to see Venus and the Moon in a pale blue sky.

At 3:43 the clouds rolled in and that was that.  Still clouded out at 5:12pm when Venus re-emerged.  There you go!   Why astronomy is not boring!


Venus within a whisker of the Moon’s limb

by Tony Sizer, about 3:40pm UT December 1, 2008

Great Expectations.  About 3:40pm — a super view of Venus and the Moon in a  pale blue sky.  The ROG group prepares [Pic Mike Dryland]

3:45pm — Totally clouded out.  Roger bangs his head in despair!  Why astronomy is not boring ...    [Pic Mike Dryland]

Occultation of Venus by the Moon — December 1, 2008