Nov 29 2005, 07:19 PM
I have seen the shadow of Venus on several occassions, even in Palm Springs. A good method is to hold up a white sheet of cardboard with one hand fairly close to your head, casting the shadow of your fingers from the other hand stretched out toward Venus. When you wiggle your fingers you can see the shadow with peripheral vision easier than when the shadow is steady. I also moved the card about and could see the detailed shadows of palm tree leaves nearly 100 meters away cast by the near point source.
I have watched Sirius, a true point source, set behind tree covered mountains, with interesting 'boiling' motions visible in the trees from 'sirius light' backlighting the nearby trees influenced by the atmospheric discontinuities acting on the light. If Sirius, which was breaking up into beautiful rainbow colours, was much brighter such colours would probably be seen in the 'backlighting' as well.
Nov 29 2005, 08:11 PM
QUOTE (DDAVIS @ Nov 29 2005, 07:19 PM)
I have seen the shadow of Venus on several occassions, even in Palm Springs.
Some of the clearest skies and most startling views of the Milky Way I have ever seen in California were atop Mt. San Jacinto in the middle of a cold moonless winter night. If you live in that area, you have one of the best stargazing spots just a tram ride away!
Dec 2 2005, 12:33 AM
Some of the darkest skies are at Ft Davis Texas near the McDonald Observatory. In the '80's I attended several Texas Star Parties. Venus could be easily seen to cast a shadow, and the skies became a bit darker after Venus set (or so it seemed to me). One of the 'newbie' tricks was to start talking about clouds coming from the east when the Sagittarius-Cygnus Milky Way was rising, it was bright on the horizon. Under dark skies, earthly clouds look dark against the night sky since there is no light from below.
Jan 10 2006, 03:01 AM
There is a photo on today's SpaceWeather which I would like to call Venus Among the Volcanoes - just outside Guatemala City:http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2006/09jan06/Solano.jpg