Venus is going visiting!

17 December 2018

For those of you who are up early and looking east, Venus is now moving away from the Sun and will be very bright over the next few weeks, rising before dawn. On 4 December it was very close to the nearly-new Moon, which looked very photogenic.

But you haven't missed out! On 2 January 2019 it'll happen again, only Jupiter will be also joining the parade. Then on 23 January, Venus and Jupiter will be right next to each other in the morning sky, both just adjacent to Scorpio as it rises. On 1 February Venus will be even closer to the razor-thin moon - only two moon widths. That'll be a magnet for the photographers!

This is the only photo I've ever taken of Venus. At the time all I could say was that it was about the right shape. To get a good look at it, you're going to need a pretty long focal length, say better than 1500mm. For this type of job, nothing is really better than the Cassegrain or its variant, the Maksutov.

What's the best photo you've taken of Venus? Other planets? How did you do it?