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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3259
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Sunday, 8/9/19, 1425-1445 BST: while sitting in the warm sunshine in the backgarden, with blue skies and passing fair-weather cumuli, it occured to me that Venus may well be far enough from the Sun to be located in a small spotting scope, as I could set it up with the dangerous Sun hidden behind the wall of the house. Venus was only about seven degrees from the Sun and they differed in altitude by a couple of degrees.l set up the T50 on a tripod in the shadow of the wall and began the search.
Immediate l thought "yes!" there it is....followed by "no" it is not...and this happened time after time, for all these were were thistledown seeds or similar blowing across the field of view, appearing as anything from brighter than I expected Venus to be to much fainter little stars all moving. I then remembered the chapter in "The Haunted Observatory" in which Richard Baum discusses these in the chapter called "Lichtflocken" , (luminous flakes). I have come across these before, plus thin threads of what I believe to be spiderswebs blowing by at right angles to their line direction. And did I find Venus? Yes! One of these luminous flakes did not move with the rest and slowly moves across the fov in the opposite direction, westwards. I followed this from ,1425-1435 BST, when it disappeared into some cloud...this was indeed the planet Venus.
Following on from this, the clouded area was then observed with the Sun still hidden and with the unaided eye. At 1435-1345 BST, these clouds showed a very fine rippled effect and bands of iridescence, around part of the Sun, with pink-purple and pale blue arcs. Wonderful!
(********NB. Looking for objects this close to the Sun can be very dangerous...the Sun must be hidden from view completely.*******take no chances******* )
Regards maf


Last edited by mike a feist on Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
Yes indeed, these white wind seeds are quite a sight when observing the spectacular Venus crescent close to the Sun in August and September. On a chillier note, see Robert Ball's account of viewing a Venus transit through a snowstorm (The Story Of The Heavens).
Kind thoughts, Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:22 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Yes, I remember reading the "Venus Transit in a snowstorm" in Ball's Story of the Heavens. Currently I do not have a copy of this book though. Regards maf


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3259
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Venus in daylight (obs.#.575)
15/09/19; 1355-1535 BST: Clear blue sky with a few wispy bits of cirrus & towards the end, a few smeared contrails. Used T50 spotter mainly at 12x. Kept the Sun hidden behind the house wall + gutter etc throughout. Venus was bright and there were many "lichtflocken" seeds, some sharp and bright, some large and fluffy, and a number of those "strings or webs". Generally these drifted from lower right to upper left of the fov at different speeds. Venus trundled from left to right towards the house wall and the scope and often the tripod had to be repositioned to follow it. Zooming up the scope to maximum did show Venus as a tiny tiny disc. Another enjoyable session of daytime observing! Regards maf


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