January 31, 2009 11:58:36 pm
It was a celestial treat for Pune residents on Friday morning when both Venus and the Moon were visible in broad daylight. The duo rose almost together and continued their courtship till the evening.
When the two were closest,they were just 2.5 degrees apart,making it easier for the common man to spot them, said Arvind Paranjpye,scientific officer,public outreach programme,Inter-University for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).
The Moon and Venus rose together around 10 am,but were visible only at 12.40 pm because of the cloudy sky. Later,the two were,however,clearly visible till around 3 pm after which the sky again turned cloudy,Paranjpye said. Those who missed the sight during day time also got a chance at dusk. As it got darker,viewers could see a magnificent view of the Moon and Venus next to each other above the western horizon, he said.
Although it is not a rare phenomenon,it was much clearer this time, said Priyanka Vasudevan,an avid sky gazer who has witnessed it earlier in 2007. The crescent of the Moon looked beautiful beside Venus,a small illuminated dot. The event was visible with a small pair of binoculars.
Paranjpye said a similar event would be witnessed on National Science Day,February 28,but Venus would be twice as far as it was on Friday. He said viewers could make a collage of its photos as he had done in March 2007. I had put my digital camera on a stand and ensured that it was not disturbed for the next couple of hours. Then I put the picture taking mode in auto; i.e. it would take a picture every 10 minutes or so,and then ended up having set of images of the Moon and Venus, he said.
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