Venus will soon hide behind the Moon


Not long after the unexpected aurora borealis, a long-awaited phenomenon also appears in the domestic sky, which is also from the imaginary rank of the rarer ones. On Thursday, November 9, in the morning, it will be possible to observe the eclipse of the planet Venus by the Moon in clear weather.

Although the phenomenon will occur already in daylight, in a clear sky without clouds it should be possible to see the Moon and Venus with the naked eye. However, according to astronomers, having a small telescope at hand, such as binoculars, is a considerable advantage.

The main event will last only tens of seconds

On Thursday, we could first see at dawn the Moon in the phase of a narrow crescent (four days after the last quarter) and very close to it the bright planet Venus (in the role of Morning Star).

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The angular distance between the Moon and Venus will continue to decrease, and shortly before 11 o’clock Venus will be eclipsed by the Moon. Although it is a phenomenon in the daytime sky (at a safe distance from the Sun), in a clear sky and under good conditions, especially clear air, it could be seen with the naked eye, since Venus can be found even in a clear sky in daylight.

“The whole phenomenon will last more than an hour, the very entry of Venus beyond the lunar edge – the one that will be visible – and its exit from behind the unlit edge of the Moon, on the other hand, will last only tens of seconds,” pointed out Pavel Suchan from the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Photo: Stellarium/Jan Veselý

Disc of Venus near the Moon shortly before eclipse. In the simulation, the image is oriented according to equatorial coordinates – north is at the top. The situation corresponds to the position of the Moon and Venus on 11/9/2023 at 10:55 CET for observers at the intersection of the 50th parallel (N) and the 15th meridian (E). For observers in other parts of the Czech Republic, the position of Venus in relation to the Moon and the time of eclipse are slightly different.

Venus will also have a phase similar to the Moon between full and last quarter, so it will appear as a glowing oval in binoculars. In Prague, entry occurs around 10:58 CET, exit around 12:13. In other places in the Czech Republic, the times will differ by minutes. E.g. in Opava, the cover will start at 11 a.m. and end at 12:15 p.m.

For example, offers an accurate prediction of the phenomenon for the selected location, or you can simulate the phenomenon for your location using the freely downloadable program Stellarium, as advised by astronomy popularizer and photographer Petr Horálek from the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia.

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Live video transmission of the phenomenon is offered by the Physics Institute in Opava through the WHOO observatory! “The phenomenon will be captured between 10:00 and 12:30 CET by our 45 cm diameter telescope, the recording will be saved in 8k video quality, and at the same time there will be a live broadcast in real time on the streaming channel of the WHOO observatory! Institute of Physics in Opava,” announced Daniel Beneš from the Opava institution, which provides the transmission.

The Institute recently opened a new observation terrace at the Opava observatory, where the transmission takes place.

Photo: P. Horálek/Stellarium/FÚ in Opava

The course of the eclipse of Venus by the Moon on November 9, 2023 in Opava

Why does the eclipse of Venus by the Moon even occur?
Our cosmic companion moves around the Earth on a path that is slightly elongated, but also slightly “tilted” to the main plane of the Solar System, so we only observe so-called conjunctions – angular approaches of the Moon to bright planets or stars. But when it happens that the Moon is on its path just near the plane of the Earth’s orbit (the so-called plane of the ecliptic), it can pass directly in front of the planet. It is not necessarily only Venus, all planets orbit the Sun near the plane of the ecliptic, and thus each of them is a “candidate” to be eclipsed by the Moon. But the phenomenon is quite rare. Statistically, we can see hardly one such eclipse of the planet by the Moon during the year from one place on Earth.
Petr Horálek, Institute of Physics in Opava

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The article is in Czech


Tags: Venus hide Moon


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